Watching the deficit hawks get whipped up into a frenzy has been difficult enough since we don't have to worry about the deficit at all, but what's been worse is that the president has joined them in this silliness and is willing to cut benefits to Social Security and Medicare just to get meaningless tax loopholes closed -- and backslaps from the Dancin' Dave Beltway media class.
Jay Carney is transmitting what President Obama wants to do and it doesn't get any worse than his words to Andrea Mitchell Friday morning.
Mitchell: Why do you say to the House Democrats like Ellison and others who are really angry about any talk of entitlement changes, you'd call them reforms, they'd call them cuts.
Carney: Well they are reforms and they produce savings and the fact of the matter is, the president constantly has put forward balanced approach including in his offer to th speaker of the House and they represent tough choices made by a Democratic leader made by the President of the US and all he is asking is that Republicans make some tough choices on the revenue side. If the conventional wisdom is true in Washington --which is, Republicans want no tax revenue, only spending cuts, and Democrats no spending cuts and tax revenue, then each side should be compelled to make tough choices to reach compromise. The president is doing that. He knows these decisions are tough, but he's leading on this issue and we just want to see Republicans do the same thing, lead on the issue, make a tough choice come together and do what's right for the American people.
Exactly why are these cuts good for the American people? Why is a cut in benefits a good deal for the American people when the rich, Wall Street and corporations benefit at the expense of the working class? And why do Republicans refuse to rasie taxes on anyone or so they say, but are loving raising taxes on the middle class?
Did you know that the Chained-CPI is actually a middle class tax hike?
Did you also know that none of that, by law, can go to fund Social Security's projected "shortfall?" And that if they do change that law, it will forever put an end to the dedicated revenue stream that keeps SS out of the general budget? I'm afraid so:
If the chained CPI is adopted as part of a budget deal unconnected to any larger plan for Social Security then it effectively means that there will have been a substantial cut to Social Security benefits without any quid pro quo in terms of increased revenue. This hardly seems like a good negotiating move from the standpoint of those looking to preserve and strengthen the program.
And did you also know that the chained-CPI cuts alone will not close the projected shortfall? So, even if this is done, we'll be right back here in a few years looking for new ways to "save" Social Security by cutting it.
There is no point to this madness. Switching to a chained CPI formula does not fix Social Security (if that's their goal) and only imposes harsher living conditions for seniors. If Washington truly wants to fix the economy then why doesn't it consider the Congressional Progressive Caucus' Back To Work plan?
But there’s a plan that does: the proposal from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, titled “Back to Work,” which calls for substantial new spending now, temporarily widening the deficit, offset by major deficit reduction later in the next decade, largely though not entirely through higher taxes on the wealthy, corporations and pollution.
I’ve seen some people describe the caucus proposal as a “Ryan plan of the left,” but that’s unfair. There are no Ryan-style magic asterisks, trillion-dollar savings that are assumed to come from unspecified sources; this is an honest proposal. And “Back to Work” rests on solid macroeconomic analysis, not the fantasy “expansionary austerity” economics — the claim that slashing spending in a depressed economy somehow promotes job growth rather than deepening the depression — that Mr. Ryan continues to espouse despite the doctrine’s total failure in Europe.
No, the only thing the progressive caucus and Mr. Ryan share is audacity. And it’s refreshing to see someone break with the usual Washington notion that political “courage” means proposing that we hurt the poor while sparing the rich. No doubt the caucus plan is too audacious to have any chance of becoming law; but the same can be said of the Ryan plan.
Have you seen any TV coverage of the CPC plan? Neither have I, but when the zombie-eyed granny starver releases something, they run it 24/7.