This might be the best article I've read in the last few weeks.
One of President Barack Obama's Senate allies said Thursday that an increase in the Medicare eligibility age is "no longer one of the items being considered by the White House" in negotiations with top Republicans on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. But Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said he didn't get it directly from the president or the White House.
However, he is regularly updated on the negotiations.Increasing the eligibility age is a key demand by Republicans seeking cost curbs in popular benefit programs in exchange for higher tax revenues.Obama and House Speaker John Boehner remain far apart on a potential agreement to avoid a looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts.
Durbin is cued into the Obama administration so if he said this then at least it's most probably true. Obama might cave on us, but this is the first real positive stance I've read coming out of the White House on the age of our earned benefits.
I can understand why Republicans feel the need to inflict a massive amount of pain on the elderly population of America (even though raising the age doesn't help alleviate their deficit fetish one bit) because they are sore f*&king losers and need to lash out and hurt someone. It's been their way for over thirty years now and with the lunatic fringe making up the majority of the GOP that trait won't let up any time soon. The villages and absolutely lost when it comes to this. How do they make the argument that we need a bipartisan agreement (which means heavy cuts to entitlements) after Democrats just crushed Conservatives in a huge election?
Everyone wants compromise in theory, but in reality they don't want vital programs cut. From the Pew Poll also released yesterday:
The polling also suggests that the public generally supports the budget priorities that have been outlined by Democrats. Nearly seven in 10 voters want to raise income tax rates on incomes of more than $250,000, while 54 percent support limiting deductions and 52 percent want to raise the tax rate on investment income. The only entitlement reforms to receive support from more than half of all Americans are reductions in Medicare and Social Security benefits for high income seniors. Majorities of those surveyed oppose raising the Social Security or Medicare eligibility age, and 52 percent say they do not want to limit the home mortgage interest deduction. Also unpopular are opposed cuts to the defense budget and welfare programs. More than two-thirds of Americans also object to infrastructure and education cuts.
The confusion is among the Villagers. They seem to think that the proper "compromise" must consist of millionaire chump change in exchange for suffering from the elderly and the sick. (And apparently, many Democrats have signed on to that too --- "everyone has to suffer sacrifice a little bit.") Sure people want compromise --- if it ends up with policies they like. When it doesn't, they think it was a sell-out. The politicians usually know this even if the pundits don't.
Digby links up a great post by Barney Frank in which he describes the insane amounts of money the Military Industrial Complex is costing America and how that should be handled in these negotiations. I just wrote a post called : Why Were Defense Cuts Off The Table On Sunday Morning Shows?
The fiscal cliff once again dominated the Sunday morning talk shows (which isn't a surprise), and entitlement cuts were indeed a focal point by the lead bobblehead of each show. But what I found most offensive was that not one Villager or politician discussed cuts to defense spending as a solution for the Mayan Apocalypse of the federal deficit. In part, the reason the fiscal cliff is coming is because the sequester deal has massive cuts to defense spending