MSNBC analyst and former Obama advisor David Axelrod may not have been too happy with Rachel Maddow for her response to President Obama putting Social Security cuts on the table with his budget proposal, but she was exactly right here. The White House seems to want a fight with the left, because if what they were really worried was solvency of the system, they'd put raising the income cap on the table.
After Axelrod did a terrible job of attempting to explain why the administration actually believes this is somehow a good idea and claiming that what they're worried about is preserving the programs and economic growth, Maddow responded.
MADDOW: I believe you that he believes in his budget, but I think that if what he really believes in is Social Security benefit cuts, he's going to feel the ground beneath his feet give way. And I think this is the start that ends badly on the Democratic party (crosstalk).
After Axelrod tried to pretend that progressives “want to do nothing” and just leave the programs exactly as they are now, Maddow shot back.
MADDOW: Nobody's saying do nothing. That's not fair. Nobody's saying do... nobody's saying do nothing. First of all, Social Security isn't the problem with the deficit. Second of all, there is a way to fix it that has nothing to do with starving old people now or in the immediate future.
You have people pay more. And then your system is solved. If you wanted to approach it toward just solvency, that would be one of the things that's on the table. For the Democrats to not put that on the table and say it's all about solvency and not the politics, I just don't buy it.
He walked back some of his previous comments and brought up Medicare and Medicaid solvency, rather than just sticking to the issue of Social Security. He could have defended other portions of the budget such as spending on education and research and development. But after admitting that he's aware that the Republicans are already attacking the Social Security cuts, Axelrod said let's see what their position is in the coming weeks and months -- when they attempt to defend their “indefensible” budget.
Maddow was again correct in her response when she told him that their position in the upcoming weeks and months was going to be exactly where they are now. I'd say you can take that one to the bank. Good for her for calling the administration out for how cynical the politics of this move has been.