It’s official – Obama is Bush III


WaPo:

In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.

At a meeting with top House and Senate leaders set for Thursday morning, Obama plans to argue that a rare consensus has emerged about the size and scope of the nation’s budget problems and that policymakers should seize the moment to take dramatic action.

As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal. The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from the assault on government spending.

Can someone please explain to me how McCain would have been worse? At least if McCain was in the White House the Congressional Democrats would occasionally oppose him.

(h/t Dario)


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74 Responses to It’s official – Obama is Bush III

  1. crawdad says:

    What a dick.

    Any Democrat who voted for Obama should be ashamed.

  2. WMCB says:

    LOL! Okay, I shouldn’t laugh, because it’s a serious issue. But I must admit that watching Obama twist in the wind and scramble to find SOMETHING to please SOMEONE is just amusing to me.

    I actually don’t think he’s a Republican, per se. I think he’s just a narcissistic dick who will pucker up in whichever direction the ass with the most power appears to be at the moment. He keeps swiveling that head, hoping to plant those lips somewhere advantageous to him.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Whatever he’s offering now will be more by the time negotiations are over.

      • WMCB says:

        When you run for the presidency as an empty media construct, you have no idea how to function without a familiar script. You can run on your (mostly made up) inspiring story and the arc of history, yada yada yada. You cannot govern on it.

        I have never thought that Obama has any political beliefs or ideology whatsoever, left or right. None. He’s been an alternately useful idiot for either side.

        • myiq2xu says:

          When he was a state senator he represented a very liberal district and he flirted with socialist groups. Then he sold his soul to Exelon and other other big buck special interests.

    • 1539days says:

      I still call him an incompetent socialist. He wants to take over big business, but they have so much beautiful money for him if he doesn’t.

    • angienc says:

      Oh, I think he’s a Republican alright — he admires Reagan for the love of God. When he said that during one of the debates, my jaw was on the floor. The fact that admission wasn’t enough to wake up the Obots from their Kool Aid stupor just shows what morons they all are.
      This is also the reason why Romney’s job will be to lose the GE — the GOP wants Obama for 4 more years so he can finish the job WITHOUT pressure from the Dems, because as we’ve seen, time & time again, NO MATTER what he does, they all fall in line behind him.

      And I can say with confidence, McCain (who, btw, IS STILL ALIVE you assholes who were hand-wringing about him dying & Palin becoming POTUS) would have been better — not only for the fact that the Dems would have occasionally opposed him, but because he is actually more moderate than Obama, is smarter than Obama & has a better grasp on policies than Obama.

      • ralphb says:

        I’m very glad I voted for McCain/Palin. It’s the last political feel good moment I’ve had. I’m ready for another, come on 2012!

      • djmm says:

        Agreed — he is a Republican and frankly, I thought McCain was more liberal than Obama.

        Call the White House now. Tell them the President will lose and every congress person who votes for this will lose. If we don’t make a stink now, our earned benefits (which we paid for) are history.

        djmm

      • ralphb says:

        He’s no Republican. He doesn’t have enough real backbone to be a Republican. He’s just a turncoat, a sellout.

      • 1539days says:

        Remember the California Nurses Union’s “One Heartbeat away” ad from 2008? After it aired, they actually tried to justify saying that McCain was going to die and Sarah Palin is stupid. McCain’s mother is still alive and in her 90s. Obama’s parents were both dead by their 50s.

        Those union ads are also the reason I could give a crap if Scott Walker or Christ Christie wants to draw the line on union benefits. Apparently they have enough money for character assassination.

        • angienc says:

          Oh, I remember those ads & my MCCAIN’S STILL ALIVE comments are directed exactly at those asshats. Not only were those in bad taste & not based at all on family history, I actually, sincerely believe it is bad karma to “predict” another person’s death because tomorrow is promised to NO ONE. I am confident that all those who did participate in that gross speculation will suffer some well-justified karmic payback for it.

        • ralphb says:

          Heh. McCain’s mother and her twin sister are still very much alive and traveling the world. God bless ’em.

        • Jadzia says:

          To be fair (and this is the last time I plan to do that!), wasn’t Obama Senior killed in an accident?

        • 1539days says:

          It might have been due to his raging alcoholism, so I’d call it a wash.

      • WMCB says:

        He neither admires nor disagrees with Reagan’s policies, Nor does he admire Clinton’s. He admires the idea of being a popular, iconic president (which both Bill and Reagan were), and will ape and mimic either/or.

        I agree with you that he often behaves like a GOP-er. But the source of it is not that he believes a damn thing that they believe. He believes nothing. He’s the typical narcissist: “Whatever it takes to bullshit people into loving me and thinking I’m fabulous.”

        • myiq2xu says:

          I said a long time ago that Hillary wanted to be POTUS so she could use the power of the office to accomplish certain goals.

          Obama just wanted to be POTUS

      • Three Wickets says:

        And still the refrain on NPR threads is…the Republicans are trying to hurt our president, they are trying to hurt him. I kind of yelled at Judy Woodruff today, felt okay doing it.

      • Sandress says:

        Also, the longer we keep Obama, the more we stave off a Hillary presidency. Eventually she’ll be “too old”.

  3. Dario says:

    Obama’s attack of SS will destroy what’s left of the Democratic Party. Without any doubt, we have one party representing the people in Washington.

  4. Dario says:

    Can someone please explain to me how McCain would have been worse? At least if McCain was in the White House the Congressional Democrats would occasionally oppose him.

    Only a DINO could propose what Obama is proposing. I don’t believe McCain would have attacked SS.

    • myiq2xu says:

      He would have been crucified if he tried.

      • yttik says:

        I think McCain would have been better. Besides, he would have had Sarah Palin helping him. : )

        Dems would have suddenly remembered they had ideals they were supposed to care about. They always seem to forget that when they’re in charge. It’s like they can’t figure out how to exist if they don’t have a Republican to reflect off of.

        I wonder what ever happened to some of the good ideas about SS, like ending the cap on wage deductions? How come you don’t have to pay SS on wages over 120,000? There’s also some means testing that I wouldn’t be opposed too. I mean, you can be a poor senior and have to supplement your SS by working and they’ll go and deduct some of your wages from your check, but a multi millionaire with lots of property doesn’t have any deductions at all. That’s not fair.

        • 1539days says:

          One thing that’s funny. I know 100% if the gulf oil spill happened under McCain, liberals would blame Palin and swear up and down it would NEVER have happened under Obama.

        • ralphb says:

          Those ideas disappeared. They were apparently only valid for election commercials etc. Not only are they not looking to raise the cap for SS, Dick is considering extending his payroll tax holiday. Which has been shown to be utterly useless but still robs money from the system so it’s OK.

        • WMCB says:

          One of the sticklers with means testing is that the program was set up to not be “like welfare”. It was supposed to be a money-in, money-out kind of thing, and they like to maintain the fiction that it can remain a self-supporting retirement fund for everyone, not just the “needy”.

          I think one way around that might be to say that for the purposes of SS, dividend and other income (as opposed to just wages) counts as income. So if you have a lot of invested retirement, and get income from it, it reduces your SS check (or eliminates it) just like having a job would. That would be a huge savings right there.

        • Dario says:

          still robs money from the system so it’s OK.

          Yeah, the “system” a.k.a. SS fund. The “labor tax” is money that the employer would normally pay to the SS fund, but instead stays in the pocket of the employer.

        • ralphb says:

          You can either decrease the SS check due to dividend/investment income or you can take the giant step and levy the SS tax on that money. That is a huge amount and I would love to see calculation of that effect on the SS trust fund.

          I have an idea that removing the cap and taxing all income for SS would do away with any deficit in that entitlement.

    • Dario says:

      ralphb, there’s no deficit in the SS fund. It has trillions of dollars in it. Is the only program that’s fully funded and has money at least until 2037, 2034 the earliest. Though now, because it’s not been fully funded since Dick took the WH, it might have lost a year of funding. I think it was about 100 billion dollars

      • ralphb says:

        I know that but if we remove the cap it could be funded in perpetuity. That’s the only thing the enemies of SS will ever recognize as solvent.

      • Three Wickets says:

        Probably bigger than that after the payroll tax cuts at the end of last year. Believe we’ll be running annual deficits in SS payouts from here on out. Size of the deficits are (and will be) larger than the annual interest earned by the SS trust fund, so we’ve already begun dipping into the $2.6 trillion principal. If the principle does run out by 2034, then most everyone is screwed. So ideas like raising the income cap or redefining what is taxable or some aspect of means testing will probably be needed to keep the program solvent beyond 20 years…though the proposals in Simpson-Bowles are way too aggressive imo.

        The government’s $2.6 trillion debt to social security is for now clearly defined within the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling debate. Important that govenrment not be allowed to somehow redefine away its full obligation to the SS trust fund because of the crisis.

        • Three Wickets says:

          There is a difference between the government’s revenue/payout strategy and its obligation to the full trust fund principal. The latter should be transparently accounted for and not revised, even if it is mainly intra-governmental book-keeping.

  5. Rocky Hussein Squirrel says:

    Ollie Obot:

    I’ll just assume the White House is floating a trial balloon in order to make the eventual Republican rejection look even worse.

  6. ralphb says:

    If the Democrats don’t have Mediscare, what the fuck are they going to run on in 2012? Can you say wipeout?

    • Dario says:

      I don’t believe the wipe out is limited to 2012. I think it’s a Whig wipe out.

    • yttik says:

      Politicians are really good at cutting services and then turning around and trying to get re-elected on the promise of restoring them.

    • jjmtacoma says:

      They will run on women’s rights.

      • Dario says:

        If the Democrats run on women’s rights, I’ll go with the flow. I’ll vote for Bachmann.

      • WMCB says:

        Okay, I just spewed my drink. 😀

      • 1539days says:

        Ah, the right of women to be called crazy sluts for running against Dick.

      • ralphb says:

        Funniest thing I’ve read all week. 🙂

      • Valhalla says:

        Haw!

        Sad thing is, you’re not kidding. This morning I read a bunch of articles about how the Democrats are gearing up to bring women back to the fold. The hook they plan to use: Republicans are SCAAAARRRYYY. Why on earth that would work when the same “message” at midterms reversed the gender gap for the first time in about a billion years (well ok, at least in my lifetime, less than a billion but north of 40 years), no one can say.

        • jjmtacoma says:

          Oh geez.

          Yeah, they will be trying to get women into the fold with (fear) “Republicans are scary”, (bribes) “think about the children’s education” (threats) “coathangers baybee!”, and my favorite – (belittle me please!) “you bitches don’t know a good thing and you’re just not voting your interest. Did I mention you are a bitch?”

  7. yttik says:

    Hey, anybody remember the tax holiday Obama gave us all, where he cut our SS taxes so we could keep more of our paychecks? That’s been really helpful to me, at one job I think I’ve scored an extra 1.75. At my other job, I’ve enjoyed the pain in the ass it takes to do all the new paper work so those employees can get their 1.75.

    It’s such a small amount of money, it does nothing to help anybody, but added up all over the country, it should help SS go bankrupt just a little bit sooner.

    • ralphb says:

      Dick wants to entend it.

    • Dario says:

      The tax cuts Obama gave businesses in 2009 and 2010 helped big corporations the most, and they are awash with money. To help the recovery it would have been helpful to give tax cut or incentives to businesses that fall under a few million in revenue, but Dick is not interested in helping the economy, just his friends.

  8. myiq2xu says:

    Pawlenty Aide Apologizes for Citing Bachmann’s ‘Sex Appeal’

    […]

    Mr. Weber, a former member of Congress from Minnesota who served as co-chairman of Mr. Pawlenty’s political action committee, made his initial remarks during an interview with The Hill newspaper. He said that Mrs. Bachmann would be “very hard to beat” in Iowa, the state that opens the presidential nominating contest.

    “She’s got hometown appeal, she’s got ideological appeal,” Mr. Weber said. “And, I hate to say it, but she’s got a little sex appeal too.”

    He apologized in a statement issued by the Pawlenty campaign.

    “I made a mistake that was disrespectful to my friend Congresswoman Bachmann,” he said. “I’ve been a Bachmann supporter in her Congressional bids and I apologize. I was not speaking on behalf of Governor Pawlenty’s campaign but nevertheless, it was inappropriate and I’m sorry.”

  9. myiq2xu says:

    Over at Americablog they are pissing and moaning:

    Unfortunately, I doubt anyone is going to be surprised by this development. Deeply disappointed, yes. Amazing frustrated, yes. Beyond annoyed, yes. And, wondering what the hell they’re thinking at the White House, definitely.

    Maybe the President has been negotiating with himself for so long that he’s lost all perspective. In exchange for what might possibly be some minor tax revenue increases, the President is giving GOPers what they couldn’t get from George Bush, a GOP-controlled House and a GOP-led Senate. Yes, from Obama, Republicans are getting what they’ve always wanted.

    My response:

    Flashback:

    Go away you horrible human being

    Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?

    • WMCB says:

      That horrible human being stayed in because she was hoping against hope that the Party wasn’t really going to hand the nomination to this idiot.

      And she wanted to spare the nation the pain we are going through right now, this minute. Because she knew exactly who Obama was, and what he’d do. But you morons just had to have your plastic messiah, for no other reason than he made you feel good. Because feeling all lofty and inspired was more important to you than saving this damn country, and disentangling ourselves from endless war.

      Obama’s actions are no fucking surprise whatsoever to LOTS of us out here. They are certainly no surprise to Hillary Clinton. So don;t start with the bullcrap that “noone knew, noone saw, we couldn’t have foreseen.” No, cupcake, YOU didn’t know, YOU didn’t see, and in fact REFUSED to see when it was plain as the nose on your face.

      Our eyes and ears were functioning just fine, thanks.

      • angienc says:

        The fix was in for Obama when the DNC moved the convention from July to August to coincide with the anniversary of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech. How they could manipulate, game primaries and actually take delegates away from Hillary Clinton & give them to Obama just so they could give the nomination to someone based on skin color & not the content of his character & have it crowned on the THAT anniversary is beyond disgusting to me. I’m so glad I re-registered Independent & voted for McCain, I can’t tell you.

        • myiq2xu says:

          JamesR responds:

          You don’t get to call that form an alternate universe. You just don’t. A significant portion of the criticism of Obama today is that he has done so much of what the Clintons did back then – precisely the reason not to have voted for that again. At that
          time.

          Perhaps Hillary would have done differently, From the only record she had. And been a more gracious loser…

          What does that get us now Einstein?

        • Three Wickets says:

          Those commenters sound so young. Maybe it’s the commenting system. They make the folks at FDL seem much better informed and grown-up by comparison. Don’t agree with them always on policy, but FDL is pretty solid on economics imo. Haven’t been over there in a while though.

  10. myiq2xu says:

    Mustang Booby:

    This mix of substantial cuts to entitlements, which will set off the left, and tax hikes, which will make the Tea Partiers’ heads explode, sounds like an opening salvo to compromise.

    So, who stands to lose if it goes through? Not be the Democrats, because we’re so used to seeing them cave. No, it would be the folks who have stood their ground as the water rose up around their knees and refused under any circumstances to consider one penny in tax hikes to anyone at all.

    Another believer in eleventy-dimensional cheese

  11. myiq2xu says:

    Scarecrow:

    Uh, earth to Dems: Even ignoring that you’re dumb enough to throw away Paul Ryan’s House gift, if you get branded as having betrayed your promises on Medicare and Social Security, no amount of tax shifting offered by John Boehner is going to save you: “Sure, we cut your Social Security and Medicare benefits, but we sure nailed those guys with corporate jets and hedge funds!” Say “good night,” Gracie.

  12. myiq2xu says:

    Legal Insurrection:

    It’s an interesting ploy, and tied solely to Obama’s 2012 campaign. Obama, who just months ago proposed a budget with runaway deficits, now wants to grab the title of deficit hawk.

    It’s all a game. Obama knows that Democrats in the Senate would block any bill which actually addressed the structural problem of entitlements. So Republicans will agree to tax increases, entitlements will not be touched, and Republicans will be blamed when the whole deal craters.

    This is all very Clintonian.

    My response:

    Remember “Only Nixon could go to China?”

    Only Obama could cut Social Security. That’s why he was picked for the job.

  13. ralphb says:

    Joe Stiglitz an economist I still trust for the most part.

    The Great Recession, Part II

    Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology—the belief in free and unfettered markets—brought the world to the brink of ruin. Even in its heyday, from the early 1980s until 2007, American-style deregulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest of the richest country of the world. Indeed, over the course of this ideology’s 30-year ascendance, most Americans saw their incomes decline or stagnate.

    But matters are little better in Europe. As Greece and other countries face crises, the medicine du jour is simply timeworn austerity packages and privatization, which will merely leave the countries that embrace them poorer and more vulnerable. This medicine failed in East Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere, and it will fail in Europe, too. Indeed, it has already failed in Ireland, Latvia, and Greece.

    There is an alternative: an economic-growth strategy supported by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Growth would restore confidence that Greece could repay its debts, causing interest rates to fall and leaving more fiscal room for further growth-enhancing investments. Growth itself increases tax revenues and reduces the need for social expenditures, such as unemployment benefits. And the confidence that this engenders leads to still further growth.

    Do we really need another costly experiment with ideas that have repeatedly failed? We shouldn’t, but increasingly it appears that we will have to endure another one nonetheless. A failure of either Europe or the United States to return to robust growth would be bad for the global economy. The failure of both would be disastrous—even if the major emerging-market countries have attained self-sustaining growth. Unfortunately, unless wiser heads prevail, that is the way the world is heading.

    • votermom says:

      Prescribing austerity in times of recession is like a doctor bleeding an anemic patient. It cures the patient — permanently.

  14. myiq2xu says:

    Shakesville:

    What the everloving fuck. That was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad plan when George W. Bush proposed it, and it’s a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad plan now.

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