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Anyone who's paying attention knows that Social Security DOES NOT add one red cent to the federal deficit. So it's nice to finally some Democrats are speaking out against including Social Security in any talks for a fiscal cliff solution.
Social Security does not contribute to the federal deficit and should not be a part of ongoing negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday, in a speech billed as a "major address making the progressive case for a bipartisan fiscal cliff deal." Durbin's line in the sand on Social Security reflects an increasingly aggressive effort by Democrats to block changes to the program.
Yet on Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney appeared to back up Durbin's position, suggesting a "separate track" be used to reform Social Security. "We should address the drivers of the deficit, and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit," he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that he won't be part of any negotiations that include Social Security. "Social Security is not part of the problem. That's one of the myths the Republicans have tried to create," Reid said. "Social Security is sound for the next many years. But we want to make sure that in the outer years, people are protected also. But it's not going to be part of the budget talks as far as I'm concerned." And at a press conference on Tuesday, Reid said that President Barack Obama had told the fiscal cliff negotiators at a recent meeting that "Social Security is not going to be part of this."
The moronic CNBC reporter covering the story says that this is just a bargaining ploy by Sen. Durbin because if a comprehensive solution is to be done then Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has to be included in any deal. Gee, that's why I'm not for a villager solution.
Meanwhile, Greg Sargent reports this encouraging news:
Now this is encouraging. I’m told that representatives of major unions and progressive groups met privately this morning with senior Obama administration officials at the White House — and were pleased with what they heard.
Indeed, one person at the meeting — which included people from the AFLCIO, AFSCME, SEIU, MoveOn and others — came away convinced that the White House would ultimately prove willing to go over the fiscal cliff if necessary, rather than give ground on core demands, though this is not by any means a desired option and isn’t being discussed as a strategic possibility. The attendee tells me the White House is cool to the idea of going over the cliff, but added: “Would they if it’s between that and compromising their core principles? I was left with the impression that they would.”“They remain in the same place: They expect taxes to go up on the wealthy and to protect Medicare and Medicaid benefits,” the attendee added. “They feel confident that they don’t have to compromise.”
White House officials also signaled in the meeting that they are going to insist that Republicans agree to resolve the need to raise the debt ceiling as part of the fiscal talks — and won’t abide a separate fight over it, attendees said. Also key: Attendees got the impression the White House does not view this looming debt ceiling battle in the same terms as the 2011 fight, where Republicans had the leverage.“ They don’t seem to have the same fear now,” the attendee said. “They intend to get this wrapped up in these negotiations, and don’t intend to have a separate fight. Their position is this needs to be resolved all at once.”
Oh, if could only believe this. But with all the chatter coming out of the White House I'm not confident at all that this is how they will act. I'm not much on the confidence fairy stuff.