Paul Ryan Not Asking For Social Security Cuts, Why Is Obama Insisting On Them?

One of the interesting aspects of the ongoing budget negotiations is that while Paul Ryan's proposal is an attack on the social safety net with a huge tax giveaway for the rich, the one thing it is not is a call to cut Social Security:

Here is Paul Ryan’s path to a balanced budget in three sentences: He cuts deep into spending on health care for the poor and some combination of education, infrastructure, research, public-safety, and low-income programs. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicare cuts remain, but the military is spared, as is Social Security. [Emphasis supplied.]
Meanwhile, President Obama is standing firm on insisting on Social Security cuts:

Obama had discussed entitlement reform with a dozen Senate Republicans over a private dinner last week. “I urged him not to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats. [...] “At this point I think he is more inclined to cut benefits, which I strongly disagree with,” Sanders said.[Emphasis supplied.]

At this point it is impossible to deny that the idea of cutting Social Security is on Obama's wish list, not the GOP's.

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  • Well (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:53:41 AM EST
    Obama has been wanting to do that for years. Anyone who was paying attention back in 2008 should have known this is what he wanted.

    And Ryan's budget is a joke. But what else is new?

    Whadja expect (none / 0) (#169)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:37:28 PM EST
    And you're suggesting ... (none / 0) (#182)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:34:43 AM EST
    ... that they vote Republican because of Obama's position on SS?

    Not at all (none / 0) (#186)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:07:22 AM EST

    If you are going to cut benefits, you might as well cut to those  who vote for the other party.



    Another point (none / 0) (#187)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:10:07 AM EST
    SS retirees are whiter, wealthier, and more Republican than the average voter.  

    Might make sense, ... (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:49:55 AM EST
     ... but it's not a very big majority (54-46%), and you'd risk alienating  a large part of a group that is very active (in terms of votes), of which almost half vote Democratic.  Moreover, until this point, Democrats have always defended SS from Republican attempts to cut and/or privatize SS.

    If the motive was to target those who don't vote D, target the federal spending of the southern states - sort of the Romney 47% approach, if you will.  You won't get their votes anyway, and this would allow many of the blue "donor" states to lower their state/local taxes if they didn't have to subsidize all those voters who gripe about federal taxes/spending.



    Nice that you are finally acknowledging (5.00 / 13) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:33:48 AM EST
    what even one of his strongest supporters acknowledged years ago.

    "We've got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States.  The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor DID NOT call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal.  THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CALLED FOR THAT,"  declared US Representative John Conyers in a press conference held by members of the House "Out of Poverty' Caucus on 07/27/11." link

    Obama has been on a mission to cut Social Security since 2007 and has been very tenacious in pursuing his goal.

    A few contributers on a couple of blogs and several people on this blog tried continuously to get Democratic voters to acknowledge this fact only to have our comments discounted, ridiculed or getting labeled as "haters" by his supporters.


    haters, republicans, racists (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:02:01 AM EST
    for some reason Obama has it in for his own generation.  He is a boomer, but has been waging generational warfare since at least 2007 that I have been aware of.
    A democrat determined to cut social security when it makes absolutely no sense.  Who is paying him off for this one?

    I quote (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:38:07 PM EST
    "`Chained CPI' is just a fancy way to say `cut benefits for seniors, the permanently disabled, and orphans,'" Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Salon last week.

    Interesting reaction (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:03:20 AM EST
    to my post.

    Why? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:34:17 AM EST
    Your post reads as if you have recently and reluctantlycome to this conclusion based on Ryan's most recent rubbish.  I don't understand why you think MO Blue's observation of [essentially] "that's what I've been saying" is an interesting reaction.  I'm not being snarky or argumentative.  I'm genuinely puzzled.

    If I need to explain it (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:58:49 AM EST
    I think it is rather pointless.

    The hostility was interesting to me.

    Carry on.


    Hostility?? (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:39:46 AM EST
    Is that in the same discounting category as haters?

    IIRC many of us who have consistently tried to point out Obama's mission of cutting Social Security have met with hostility up to and including being labeled "haters" and at the beginning of the year "Pumas" when we did not agree that Obama was "not really" going to pursue this now that he won reelection.

    A reply of better late than never and welcome to the party seems rather mild in comparison.

    BTW, I find your reaction just as interesting.


    Oh there was a party was there? (none / 0) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:09:13 PM EST
    Sorry I missed it.

    Yes, no hostility at all from your comments.

    Carry on.


    In comparision to your response, (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:41:39 PM EST
    one could view my original comment as filled with sweetness and light. ;o)

    Come on, Armando, tell us why you (none / 0) (#89)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:19:04 PM EST
    are annoyed with these responses.  Is it that you think people are attacking you personally? Is it the tone of comments? Do you think people missed the point of your post?

    I'm seriously asking because I do not understand your responses to these comments. On the face of it, it seems rather thin-skinned for you.


    Im glad you are finally acknowledging (1.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:24:43 PM EST
    that the hostility reflected in the comment ou are referring to was unwarranted.

    Oh wait you didn't.

    Perhaps you will finally acknowledge what you have been refusing to acknowledge for years now - Obama is terrible.


    Still confused. I have always thought Obama (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:32:10 PM EST
    was terrible. The minute he chose, back in 2007, to campaign with Donnie McClurkin I started looking more closely at his record. And I realized he was not a progressive or a liberal.

    I listened to what he actually said. So, while I have been angered by  so very many of his policies, I have rarely been surprised.

    If you had the time to waste doing so, and I do not expect that you do, you could search all my previous comments, and you would discover that I have never been an Obama fan.

    So, like I said, still confused by your response to MOBlue and this response to me.


    that is confusing you.

    Take me for instance, I should have acknowledged how I failed to acknowledge that Obama is terrible for all these years.

    That was my failure.

    Your failure to acknowledge that you failed to acknowledge is you own failure.

    Crystal clear.


    WTF does this even mean? (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:52:32 PM EST
    I do not understand what it is that you (none / 0) (#115)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:45:40 PM EST
    think I have failed to acknowledge. Please, just tell me what you are talking about. This may be a failing on my part, but I often don't get subtlety. I am truly confused here, Armando.

    So, please, what are you talking about?


    Your sin was that you did not view my comment (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:37:50 PM EST
    as "hostile" and totally unwarranted. Had you chosen to chastise me for being so very mean to BTD you would have not only not failed by BTD's standards but had succeeded to the ninth degree. ;o)

    I do not understand it either (none / 0) (#118)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:53:43 PM EST
    I do not understand how it is relevant to the discussion.

    I think the reference to what I acknowledged or failed to acknowledge was hostile.

    Some seem to see it as not hostile at all.

    I diverge from their point of view on that.


    Oh. (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:39:18 PM EST
    I get it.

    You think that Obama is terrible.

    But you think that people who say that they have thought so for years are hostile.

    Actually, let's calm down.

    Obama is wonderful.

    What's wrong with taking more money from those who need it the most? It's historic.

    The rock-star shines.

    Hostility gone.
    Peace Love.


    Well, if you thought (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:43:36 AM EST
    that was hostile, I guess it's good that I didn't post my initial reaction which was

    "Well, duh!"  Or maybe it was "no kidding".  I forget.

    But instead I'm still trying to get your point.  Is your point that before this latest move it was possible "to deny that the idea of cutting Social Security is on Obama's wish list, not the GOP's".

    Were you doing so?  


    Well, what kind of reaction (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:53:20 AM EST
    were you expecting?  And I'm not being flippant here, BTD.

    The first thing that made me pause was your use of the word "interesting" to describe what has, to a lot of us, been glaringly obvious for a long, long time: Obama has a target on Social Security's back, and by his embrace of chained CPI has also put a lot of other benefits in that bull's eye as well.

    So, for me, that Obama is expressing support for cuts to benefits in a way that leaves no doubt about his intentions is not "interesting," it is appalling, unacceptable, disheartening, and unconscionable.  And no less so because it isn't unexpected, nor is it a surprise.

    Now, if it has taken this overt and affirmative expression of support for you to get to the point where you no longer doubt what his intentions are, well, I guess "better late than never" is another expression that comes to mind.  I don't know if it's "too little, too late," but given that this is one  more area in which what we, the citizens, want is being ignored, it may be that no matter how many voices join the fray, the fix is already in.

    What is really infuriating is that, even as he keeps pushing for these changes to Social Security, he has the gall to try to pin it all on the Republicans.  This is going to be one more instance where he will use the support he generates from an issue like this as permission to do the very thing the public is supporting him for thinking he won't do.

    He just wants a big win, a Nixon-goes-to-China moment, an I-touched-the-third-rail-and-lived-to-tell-about-it addition to the legacy he thinks he's burnishing; he's going to be crushed when he finds out that turds don't take a polish.


    Whatever (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:59:07 AM EST
    Okay, that was enormously helpful. (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:09:21 AM EST
    None of this thread is helpful (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:11:38 AM EST
    You (5.00 / 9) (#19)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:23:32 AM EST
    seem to have more contempt for your readers than the person who you have identified as insisting on cuts to social security.

    Certainly today I do (none / 0) (#81)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:06:23 PM EST
    No - really? (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:26:49 PM EST
    I think the too-stupid-to-get-it readers got that point long before you committed it to writing.

    Got what? (1.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:30:09 PM EST
    How to be hostile for no reason?

    Yes, the readers absolutely got that down pat.

    I'm pretty sure I called no one stupid.

    Just a**holes.


    "If I need to explain it" is not (5.00 / 6) (#109)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:38:37 PM EST
    something one says to people whose intelligence you acknowledge.

    That you read hostility in someone's comments is a function of the problem with the written word, but it also says something about you that, instead of using humor or genuine honesty to suss out what someone's intent was, you chose to respond very passive-aggressively.

    So, instead of having a conversation about the subject of your post, we've been largely having a conversation of what crawled up your ass and died.



    Yes (none / 0) (#113)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:42:47 PM EST
    it is a problem of my reading and my failing to acknowledge how bad I am at reading.

    But by all means, let's all go to the archive to see who acknowledged or failed to acknowledge when, about what, and about who.

    There's an exercise that is important.


    Could (5.00 / 3) (#167)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:27:10 PM EST
    you take a moment and express how you feel about what you have posted?

    Does it concern you?
    Does it anger you?
    Does it evoke any emotion in you?

    It appears that the news that Obama is even more gung-ho than the Republicans to cut social security has evoked some emotional responses in many of those who read your posts. It did in me.

    But you seem more interested in discussing the emotional responses of your readers than the content of your post.

    Have you nothing whatever to say about what you have written?


    I have no interest (none / 0) (#184)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:11:10 AM EST
    in discussing much of anything with the readers at this time.

    Not sure I will in the future either.

    I think your comment is a good example why.


    Oy (none / 0) (#185)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:59:46 AM EST
    Hostile? (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:34:26 PM EST
    Are you crazy?

    You write that the leader of the Democratic party, the Democratic President, is determined to cut Social Security. You say that he is determined to do so and that the Republicans are not asking for that.

    It seems to escape you that this might make some of us angry.
    Maybe it doesn't make you angry. I would wonder why.

    You don't seem to be able to distinguish between hostility and anger. Maybe you're still fighting the primaries of 2008.


    It's a good thing my (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:14:46 PM EST
    self-respect doesn't depend on your good favor then.  It reads as if you consider it personally insulting to you that some people reached this conclusion before you did.  And then have nerve to say so.

    I've been trying to understand your point which you refuse to clarify so I guess that's that.


    Would you (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:02:05 PM EST
    care to explain why Obama's indifference to the plight of the poor and elderly takes second place to your venom for people for whom this news is appalling?

    I echo (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:34:33 AM EST
    Anne's question.  Just what type of reaction were you expecting?  And I don't think that it's showing "hostility" for those of us who believed all along that Obama was going to go after Social Security, to point that out.  It's simply stating the reality of our beliefs.

    Apparently, you don't have the secret code book (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:03:00 PM EST
    necessary to decipher the meaning of this post. Neither do I, of course.

    This is a great thread. (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:28:44 PM EST
    Armando, are you having hormonal problems or something?

    But maybe the polls coming out now (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:00:24 AM EST
    will have him re-thinking where his support for benefits cuts is going to take him:

       If President Barack Obama had piled up political capital with his impressive re-election, it's largely gone...

        The national survey, conducted four months after Obama was re-elected with 51 percent of the popular vote, found 45 percent of voters approving of the way he's handling his job and 48 percent disapproving.

        That was down from a 50 percent approval rating in November and December, and the lowest since November 2011. It also was the first time that more people disapproved of his work than approved since November 2011, when his rating was 43-50.

        Obama's personal popularity also has declined, with 48 percent of voters having favorable impressions of him and 48 percent having unfavorable impressions. That was down from 53-44 in December. It also was the lowest since November 2011, when it was 47-49...

        Just 34 percent of voters think the country's heading in the right direction, while 62 percent think it's headed the wrong way. That's also the worst since November 2011.


    That's a pretty significant loss of support and approval only four months post-election.


    Why would that matter, Anne? (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:25:54 AM EST
    Personally, I don't think Obama is very driven by a need to have personal popularity with the general populace.  It's necessary to win elections and that's why his rhetoric changed briefly, but I don't think he has an over-arching need to be liked.  The approval he seeks is not from you or me or any other voter.  I wish it was, but I think the approval he seeks is from those who can contribute $50K and bundle $500K.

    He doesn't need our approval to do what he wants -- especially now.  There are no more elections in his future. He just needs the acquiescence of the party leaders in Congress.  And their low approval ratings haven't seemed to change their attitudes either.

    You know what's strange?  Quoting myself:

    Personally, I don't think Obama is very driven by a need to have personal popularity with the general populace.
    I would have once considered that an asset.  Or would that be a "virtue"?

    It doesn't matter to me - I've never been (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:08:31 AM EST
    someone driven by polls.

    But, as I said in my earlier comment, I've seen him go out among the people with the message they want to hear, which drives his approval ratings up, and which he then uses as permission to do what he wants - even when what he wants isn't what the people want, and isn't why they supported him to begin with.

    Anyone who's selling himself the way Obama sells himself to the people is getting something from it: adulation from thousands of people is doing something for him, I think.  What he chooses to use that approval for is where he shows his disdain for the people; I don't think he sees himself as someone with a responsibility to heed the will of the people as much as he sees himself as someone who knows better than we do what the right thing to do is.

    I don't want to get too psychological here - I'm not in his head, don't know him - so I can only go by what I see and hear.

    With respect to his relationship with the opposition, I think he very much wants them to approve of him; he's done everything but wire his head for neon and put up a sign that says, "how much do I have to give you before you like me?"

    I think he sees reform of Social Security as part of his legacy, and I don't see him being swayed by much to drop it - which is why we need the tension between the two parties to continue - partisan gridlock may be the only thing that is keeping Social Security - and the rest of the safety net programs - safe from the boneheads who want to cut them.


    I used to think Obama (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    wanted to the democratic party Reagan with his very own "Obama Republicans", to be spoken of as a president who transformed American politics.  I am not so sure that is what I think anymore. If it is then I think he must be completely clueless as to how to go about what he wants. Reagan was a God to his own party and convinced moderate democrats to cross over to his point of view.  There is no way Obama is going to end with the approval of either party going the way he is.

    The way (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:08:27 PM EST
    I feel about Reagan is that he was a genial guy who sold lightbulbs on TV and the bigshots took a chance that they could sell their agenda as well. It worked.

    That's the way I feel about Obama.
    A salesman who will sell anything to anybody.


    Well... (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:45:06 PM EST
    ... not exactly
    That's the way I feel about Obama.
    A salesman who will sell anything to anybody.
    because I would actually buy 20 Mule Team Borax.

    Holy (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:32:54 AM EST

    "Borax"!   "20 Mule Team" yet.

    How about Sylvania TV with "halolight"?
    That's on my list.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#183)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:47:52 AM EST
    But you know, it's still available at my supermarket.  Now if they only carried Bluing...

    20 Mule Team Borax (none / 0) (#192)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:30:19 AM EST
    took a backseat on the shelves with the invention of the disposable diaper. But it made a comeback and took on a second life as a flea killer in home carpets soon after...to only fade again with the coming of tile as a common flooring.

    Okay, I see what you mean (none / 0) (#26)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:14:24 AM EST
    Obama is offering SS cuts (none / 0) (#47)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:30:38 PM EST
    because he wants to, in order to make the GOP love him (fat chance).  Some people think Bill Clinton, because of his womanizing, was really a little boy in search of love.  Not saying I agree, but I absolutely can't figure Obama out.

    Read everything put out by the CEOs (5.00 / 5) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:29:07 PM EST
    who belong to "Fix the Debt." There is a real correlation between what they are promoting and what Obama has been promoting. Cuts to the safety net programs and reduced tax rates for corporations and the rich under the guise of "tax reform. Everything else is IMO just smoke and mirrors.



    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:11:10 PM EST
    Obama doesn't care about anything.

    That could explain his aberrant behavior.


    Change Obama's name to... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:42:49 PM EST
    ...Eddie Pizrex. Wink wink.



    OK, now I'm stumped. (none / 0) (#56)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:53:13 PM EST
    You're making me go google "Eddie Pizrex"...

    Think Oedipus n/t (none / 0) (#57)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:01:06 PM EST
    Adulation (none / 0) (#171)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:05:10 PM EST

    He's gonna wind up lucky to be invited to cut the ribbon at the opening of a supermarket.


    Interesting perspective (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:48:33 PM EST
    I being an obvious non supporter of Obama always assumed he was a true believer.

    Now not so much.   Thanks to my diligent reading of TL I've learned that he is not a progressive, at least not consistently.   I don't know what he believes deep down other than his own superiority.  That is obvious.

    Many on the right make the mistake of calling him a communist of super liberal but they'd be wrong.   He seems to only be interested in the game of politics and his own image.  

    BTD is fond of saying that pols will be pols but Obsma said he wasn't  one of those and consistently puts out an image off being above the noise and superior in judgment.    I find it all so nauseating.


    well (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:36:50 PM EST
    the earth may crack open at any minute but I agree with a lot of what you are saying. There are many of us around here that have had a problem with Obama's lack of core principals for quite a while. Some of us even saw it back before he won the democratic nomination back in 2008.

    Let the earth (none / 0) (#67)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:29:19 PM EST
    completely be rendered asunder then, GA6thDem, because I, too, agree with much of what Slado said.    ;-)

    I know, it's scary (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:01:29 PM EST
    The great thing about being libertarian is it allows you to think for yourself and not have to swallow the party BS that is required when you support your guy or party no matter what.

    I probably agree with alot of you on what the problems are in the world just not on how to fix them.

    It took the presidency of GW to set me straight.   I was a true believer and he cured me of that.  


    Clinton cured me! (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:14:32 PM EST
    I know exactly what you mean bro.

    That used to be true (none / 0) (#82)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:09:03 PM EST
    I probably agree with alot of you on what the problems are in the world just not on how to fix them.

    of me (a bleeding-heart, socialist-loving liberal) and my Republican neighbors when I was growing up.

    As for this:

    The great thing about being libertarian is it allows you to think for yourself and not have to swallow the party BS that is required when you support your guy or party no matter what.
    I'll just opine that it seems that when Republicans reach that breaking point they become Libertarians.  When Democrats do, we become haters.  Oh wait, I mean we become Independents.

    Frankly, I don't recognize the current Republican party any more than I do the current Democratic party.  Not that I was as familiar with the GOP, mind you, but I got exposed  to the thought processes by virtue of where (and I guess when) I was raised.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:21:55 PM EST
    The current Republican Party would never nominate anyone like Teddy Roosevelt, or even Dwight Eisenhower.  And there are no more Rockefeller Republicans left in the party.
    And I also agree about the Democratic Party.  As I have been saying for years now, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party left me."

    I can't help but think (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:10:59 PM EST
    whenever the state of today's Republican Party drizzles into a conversation that the Republican Party, at its founding, was the liberal party of its day.

    Can you imagine today's Republicans nominating Abraham Lincoln or funding a transcontinental railway or enacting an income tax or passing the Morrill Act or the Homestead Act, asserting federal power over state's rights,etc., etc.

    Really, today's Republican Party is best described as neo-Confederate.


    The current Republicans (none / 0) (#148)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:01:42 PM EST
    would never have nominated Lincoln.  And I get sick and tired of those Republicans who still call themselves "The Party of Lincoln," because they're not.  Although I must say, I have not heard nearly as many Republicans calling themselves that in recent years.  They certainly used to, but not as much any more.

    To me the issue is neither party (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:42:33 PM EST
    Governs on real principals anymore.   They govern to preserve political power and if selling out their base or ideals Is necessary to do so then no big deal.   At least the "good guys" won and we stuck it to the "bad guys".

    As a libertarian I see this as the unavoidable result of an ever expanding government.   Power corrupts.   It corrupted GW.   Not only did he let fiscal conservatives down but he took his evangelical bent way to far and let's not even get into the war in Iraq.  Took me a long time to swallow how stupid I was on that one.

    His buddies in the house were no better.   They spent money like drunken sailors and stood around and watched as the cronies in both parties blew up the economy helping us all get a house while the mortgage and financial industry got rich.

    The when it all blew up what did they do?   Both parties "saved" the economy by bailing out the rich and pretending it was the other parties fault that it even happened and if they'd just done what "their" party had said to do things would have worked out so much different.  As if.   Something I've learned is when both parties screem and yell that it was the other parties fault they're both at fault.

    Now we have Obama who has completely abandoned his campaign principles and is only interested in making sure he has a permanent campaign operation capable of defending his pathetic legacy from now into eternity.  


    You know what (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:58:28 PM EST
    I find interesting is my GOP friends are absolutely freaking out about the drone thing. When i point out to them that we did not get to this stage overnight  they just look at me dumbly. I said W had it where you could be detained indefinitely without a trial. They looked dumbstruck. I said you guys sat around and cheered this stuff on and then now Obama has those same powers plus some and you're NOW complaining about it. I said I was against it then and I'm against it NOW. And the people who NOW have embraced this stuff because Obama is doing it are just as worthless in my book.

    Exactly! (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:52:41 PM EST
    And before thinking for myself I was right there with them.   Us vs. them, red vs. blue, I don't care what Bush does it must be right because he's a republican.

    What I failed to realize is when you expand executive or any government power you can't change it back.   It's here to stay which means you are signing up for every president or government official no matter the party to have this new power.

    It's fun when it's your guy and it drives the other guys nuts.   Not so much fun when the roles are inevitably reversed.


    Lord Acton (none / 0) (#114)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:45:39 PM EST
    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

    Or, (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by NYShooter on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:58:02 PM EST
    "behind every great fortune there is a great crime." ...Honoré de Balzac

    And Lord Acton was referring to the (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:02:35 PM EST
    popes when he made the "power corrupts" remark.

    Yes, but (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:45:37 PM EST
    the quotation works in so very many other situations.  Not just religion, but politics, and even business.   ;-)

    Oh, i agree. it is a very (none / 0) (#166)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:47:50 PM EST
    versatile quote. Applies to so many situations and people.

    Slado, that is what (none / 0) (#86)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:12:16 PM EST
    is interesting about this blog.  We can disagree (and many times, profoundly), and we can all argue back and forth, but there are other views presented here, and many things that make us think.
    Go in peace.    ;-)

    By GW, I'm guessing you don't mean... (none / 0) (#143)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:38:53 PM EST
    ...George Washington, although you look absolutely marvelous for your age if you do.

    As did I :) (none / 0) (#74)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:58:21 PM EST
    Slado (none / 0) (#128)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:45:20 PM EST
    I don't know what he believes deep down other than his own superiority.  That is obvious.

    I actually agree with you.  Your comment makes you sound like one of us.

    Inasmuch as his beliefs are concerned I think he is a man of no beliefs.


    I am one of you (none / 0) (#136)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:25:31 PM EST
    In the sense that the collusion between big business and big government disgusts me.

    Both parties are now beholden to big business.   Both need their money to get elected and retain power.   The only difference between the two is what flavor campaign they run to gain elected office.

    I don't blame business however.   They are the constant in this equation.   They will always work the system.   Our politicians are supposed to be honest and smart enough to keep it from happening,

    The funky tax code the regulations for some and not others, the lobbyists and all the new mechanisms of government that spring forth as it keeps growing larger make it harder if not impossible for the crony capitalism to stop getting worse.

    That is why I rant and rave about the size of government and the spending it does.   Not because I hate the poor and don't think the government should help them but because the inevitable outcome is a larger and less efficient government that does too many things poorly.

    This was the fear of Thomas Jefferson and this is my fear.

    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have" - TJ


    What (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:21:32 AM EST
    kind of reaction would you expect?

    You posed a question: Paul Ryan is not asking for Social Security Cuts. So why Is Obama insisting on them?

    Do you have an answer to propose?


    Just a few days ago (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:23:21 AM EST
    on facebook a very liberal friend of mine posted a blurb about the improved employment numbers and the soaring stock market, remarking that the country was doing great under that socialist Obama.  To so many people, "we are the ones we have been waiting for" still makes sense and they don't see that the employment and stock market numbers have very little to do with the long range recovery or the real lives of working Americans.  
    I have stopped even trying to debate any of this.  People don't seem to remember what it was like for a family to be able to live on one income, take family vacations, own a car and a house, send the kids to college etc... Now you can barely do any of that even with two people working.  Pensions, healthcare, HA!  Now let's cut social security while the wealthiest in society live like the robber-barons at the turn of the last century and the banks are not only too big to fail they are too big to prosecute and even too big to report on in the media?  
    Obama goes out and talks like he thinks the way I do and people believe he means it.  But he doesn't mean a word of it.  Anyone who still believes him is foolish.

    The reason there is a shrinking middle (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:09:51 PM EST
    Class is the bipartisan collusion between government and big business.   Both parties set this in motion and no matter who is president or who is in the majority it keeps getting worse.

    The only difference is which companies and which special interest they choose to do business with.  In some cases it's the same.

    The double bubbles from Clinton and Bush resulted in an enormous wealth drain from the middle to the upper class.

    The rich and middle class appeared to win on the way up but only the rich made a killing on the way down.  Our leaders made sure of that.



    We (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:39:17 AM EST
    knew this about Obama going into the last election.

    It is but one of the many reasons I have been less than enthusiastic about his continuing presence in the White House.

    The Democrats have to concentrate more on getting back to the values that were once articulated by FDR. All they have been concentrating on is winning. They have sold their soul.

    Even with that, they have little to show for it.

    I asked (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:42:52 AM EST
    a friend of mine who is big Obama enthusiast what have we gained by having Obama in the White House and she really could not come up with anything other than well, he's better than Bush or he's not a Republican. Yeah, i'll agree to that but does anybody realize how low a standard that is? Saying you're better than the worst President in modern history is not much of a compliment I would think.

    In (none / 0) (#17)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:18:02 AM EST
    mulling over what you wrote, to the extent that Obama has kept many of Bush's worst policies alive, appointed relics from that rotten era (like Brennan), and allowed both Bush and Cheney to escape prosecution for their crimes against us, he and Bush are soul-mates. It often appears to me that Obama is dutifully putting the finishing touches on what Bush could not get to in his two terms.

    So, although I could reluctantly agree that he is better than the worst president in history, it is seeming more and more to me like a photo finish.


    Add there's more (none / 0) (#188)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:18:29 AM EST
    Coming to a bank near you...U.S. to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances

    The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

    Didn't you know this (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:13:43 AM EST
    going in to the 2008 primaries?  Sincere question.

    Well, I did (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:34:16 PM EST
    As did many of us, in 2008.  In fact, since I come from the Southern Illinois/St. Louis area, and still have a lot of relatives in Illinois, including Chicago, I wondered about his appeal when he first ran for US Senate in Illinois in 2004.  I tried to warn my Democratic friends at the time, and again in 2008, but they totally pooh-poohed me.

    Zorba, I was a member of DFA (5.00 / 5) (#91)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:21:22 PM EST
    as someone heavily involved with that organization I was helping Obama in his quest to become the democratic candidate for US Senate in 2004. When it was discovered he was on the list of DLC members and he said he got on it by mistake my BS detector went off.  I wondered if he had tripped over a shoe lace and fallen on to the list or something.  Then his little lecture on dkos to let us know we were too extreme really rubbed me the wrong way.  Even worse was the fact that people got all huffy and bent out of shape at the less than adoring responses from some of us.  
    After all of that he simply held no appeal to me no matter what.  After Gore made it clear he would not run, I considered Edwards and every other candidate in 2008, but never Obama.

    You were one (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:53:33 PM EST
    of the early ones who figured him out, Theresa, and congratulations to you!  I was perhaps a bit earlier than you, but only because I'm from the area.
    And yes, way too many Dems got all huffy about anyone who dared question his ascension into national politics, as they got huffy about anyone who questioned him even after his election to the Senate, and to the Presidency.
    Not that I care about their opinions, and I am  sure that you do not as well.    ;-)

    I dismissed him in 2004 (5.00 / 5) (#137)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:26:06 PM EST
    Not that this is a contest, but I was very put off by his 2004 keynote address.  I wanted red meat and instead got this namby pamby crap. It made me think of someone who'd bring a knife to a gun fight.

    Anyway, when he talked about Social Security funding during the primaries loud alarm bells went off.

    He was unnecessarily making Social Security an issue after the battle in 2005 over Social Security had been won.


    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:57:26 PM EST
    Exactly, cal.

    I didn't see (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:07:57 PM EST
    his 2004 Convention speech real-time.  But the compliments were flowing in at DKos.  I remember pouring a glass of wine and sitting in front of my computer getting ready to be dazzled by the Dem to beat all Dems.

    I fired up YouTube (or whatever the equivalent was back then) and had a listen.  The need for that glass of wine took on a new meaning at that point.

    That was followed shortly thereafter by lecture he gave to the DKos liberals.  I can't recall where his denial of DLC ties fits in to the order of things but all of those events assured that this liberal was unimpressed.

    Then there were the debates.  And oy.


    Oh, I saw his (5.00 / 3) (#153)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:28:27 PM EST
    convention speech in real-time.  I was not impressed then, and I was not impressed by his lecture at DKos.

    Having recently received notice from Social (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:04:48 PM EST
    security that henceforth my monthly benefit will be $500 less, it seems to already be in place. My friend, whose total reduction for married recipients is reduced by $600, says this is means testing introduced via ACA.

    Whoa, what? (none / 0) (#85)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:11:46 PM EST
    I didn't think there was supposed to be an effect on existing recipients.  I thought they were targeting their decendents.

    If you don't mind sharing, oc, why was your (none / 0) (#88)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:15:02 PM EST
    monthly SS check reduced?

    This is what I am trying to figure out. I need to. (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:29:32 PM EST
    find (and open,) letter no. 1.

    Are you sure this is not so (none / 0) (#93)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:23:21 PM EST
    much a reduction in your SS benefit and more an increase in your Medicare premium?  Because I think that's where ACA means-testing was targeted, at Medicare, not Social Security.

    The good news - which I am delivering with a hefty helping of sarcasm - is that your government has declared you among the privileged whose income includes sources other than government programs, so an increase in your Medicare premium isn't deemed to be a hardship for you.


    I think you are correct. My friend is (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:27:37 PM EST
    more liberal than I, as she is championing means testing. But why is this married couple whose income is much higher than mine taking a lesser hit?  I think it is fairer to do this b/4 a recipient retires. But, yes, I am really fortunate.

    Means testing si not a liberal policy (none / 0) (#106)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:34:54 PM EST
    position. Did you mean to call your friend more conservative than you?

    She is more liberal than me. And (none / 0) (#108)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:38:03 PM EST
    worked hard for Obama. The reason she supports means testing is so there is more money for those w/o said means. I do too, but not ex post facto

    Do I read you right? (none / 0) (#134)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:21:41 PM EST
    You support means testing for others but not for thee?

    I think she's saying after the fact (none / 0) (#139)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:33:06 PM EST
    as in, don't experiment on the already retired?

    Yes, that's how I read it (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:53:02 PM EST
    I don't see a conflict between that and my (admittedly rather flippant) interpretation of her remarks.  I read that she supports means testing.  And I infer from her first statement that she is already retired.  So my conclusion is that she supports means testing for others [retirees to be], but not for herself [already retired].  Is that a flawed conclusion?

    Was I tooooo cryptic? (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:40:29 PM EST
    Nope (none / 0) (#176)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:48:29 PM EST
    I think I've got it.

    I'll have to see if my Mom was effected (none / 0) (#107)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:35:08 PM EST
    TPTB may think that those who are "fortunate" can take a $500 hit, but in the real world they may be taking money needed elsewhere, aka my Mom pays for her great-grandson's daycare/preschool because granddaughter exists in the working poor world. . . .

    Medicare Premiums went up but (none / 0) (#138)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:30:24 PM EST
    only about 20 or 30 dollars.  I was paying $94 and am now paying 124 or 134 or something.  I'd have to go back to my benefits notice to find the exact amount.  No way Medicare premium is in the $500 range.

    GUK (5.00 / 5) (#119)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:57:13 PM EST
    Paul Ryan's proposal is an attack on the social safety net with a huge tax giveaway for the rich, the one thing it is not is a call to cut Social Security

    There's an old saying ...

    Never interfere with your opponent while he's hanging himself

    Of course Obama's not hanging himself.  He doesn't have to run for office again.  He's hanging one of our most vulnerable demographics and the Democratic Party.

    I suspect Obama has the idea that history will reward him for taking the bold step of damaging the lives of vulnerable people, just as he thought he'd be rewarded for bringing comity to Washington (LOL) instead of concentrating on the many areas of needed reform.

    In other words I think he has an effed up view of the Presidency and no understanding of what ails the nation.  The lost opportunities are evidence of that effed up view and now we're witnessing doing deliberate harm.

    Any Democratic member of Congress who goes along with cutting Social Security should be drummed out of the party.

    Drummed out of the party??? Drum them out (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:20:28 PM EST
    of office. Every single Democrat who votes for any kind of cut to SS, Medicare and Medicaid, nomatter what it is called,  should be vigorously primaried. Let the Left take a lesson from the Tea Party.

    It is long past time to strike fear into the hearts of Blue Dogs and DLCers and all the other faux-Democrats.


    All this is (none / 0) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:05:39 PM EST
    true and I feel like we had to suffer through George W. and now Obama. Obama does not have a clue now but then he never did. He even admitted that he does not care about policy and that is something to be handed off to someone else to handle and he just wants to sign the legislation.

    He was fortunate back in November that he had an opponent who didn't have a clue as to what ails the nation either.


    Here's the deal on Social Security (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:02:56 PM EST
    Money leaves your paycheck and goes to Washington.

    Eventually money leaves Washington and goes to your bank account.

    What's missing in there is a detour to New York so that Wall Street can skim some off of the top in both directions.

    Guess how Wall Street feels about that?

    Any "reform" is going to be aimed at "privatizing", but it will be of the government steering you and your money into the arms of Wall Street variety, not the leave it in your paycheck and let you stick it under the mattress if you want to, or blow it all on cocaine and hookers if you want to, variety.

    Maybe Obama wants to cut SS (5.00 / 3) (#197)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:27:04 PM EST
    because privatizing it already failed. Maybe the game plan is simply to destroy options so future workers choose Wall Street investments knowing that SS won't ever be a viable retirement option for them. It could be that simple.

    They tried to privatize SS during the Bush years. Now they have their new guy working on Plan B. Obama's their man, and Democrats won't complain because, well, he's our man. It's perfect.

    just lift the ceiling on SS of more than114,000 (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by athyrio on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:50:30 PM EST
    and instantly SS would be funded for many many years to come...Let the mega rich pay into it for their entire incomes not just the first 100 grand or so...so easy a fix but no one will put it on the table..

    That idea (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:04:16 AM EST
     has been put forth here numerous times by numerous commenters, including myself. But, we live in strange, and truly insane, times. That plan, so simple, and so obvious, is not only not being considered, it's not even mentioned by our national stenographer pool, better known as "the media."

    There are only two absolutes our Lords and Masters have sworn to uphold:

    1. Timmie Geithner's Rule #1....."The Banksters who destroyed our economy shall not pay even a penny for the damage they've caused."


    2. Grover Norqist's Rule #1....."The Millionaires who have purchased the government & the judiciary while looting the country dry shall not pay one penny more in taxes.

    Yes, this from "The Greatest Country On Earth."

    "We're #1....Yeah!"


    Index to Inflation (none / 0) (#13)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:01:36 AM EST
    the Fiscal Cliff deal adjusts the 5 Million inheritance tax exemption to inflation, will the living, under Social Security, be adjusted less than the dead?

    "anyone who is among the living has HOPE - even a live dog is better than a dead lion".....Ecclesiastes 9:4

    Yet it's (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:34:26 PM EST
    forbidden to have an automatic inflation adjustment for the minimum wage.

    yes indeed (none / 0) (#154)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:39:23 PM EST
    Social Security is targeted because it has a COLA

    LOL (none / 0) (#23)
    by Mojo56 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:01:06 AM EST
    "Paul Ryan's proposal is an attack on the social safety net with a huge tax giveaway for the rich"...so letting the rich keep more of THEIR money is a tax giveaway? Only in Washington.

    oh please people (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:28:05 AM EST
    class warfare is a fact of life and has been since the beginning of time.  It is only the money of the rich at the moment because they have managed to figure how to rob the poor and middle class of what they have of value, which is productiveness and buying power. Right now money and power is accumulated in to the hands a very few and it is not healthy for the nation.  When it gets too bad, this is how socialist revolutions happen.  But before we have our own, the pendulum will swing back in a more equitable direction, you should hope.  
    You see it is not their money, or our money, it is just money, resources, capital, power.  It is no different than the power, resource, capital of labor etc...

    All three budgets (none / 0) (#25)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:10:18 AM EST
    will be laughable.

    Neither the House, Senate or President is serious about making a deal that the other side can live with.

    Once again we are setting everything up for the next election.   Both sides are convinced they can make the other side look bad enough to keep or takeover the house.

    If Dems win they get two years to cement Obama's legacy.

    If Republicans hold on they try and get Obama to make a deal when he's a lame duck.   I don't see that happening either so in essence we wait for the next election.

    I have zero confidence anything real will get done.  

    Since the economy is slowly growing and nobody really cares about the deficit, they just like saying they do, there is no political motivation for either side to work with each other.

    Dealing w/the present reality (none / 0) (#29)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:41:03 AM EST
    as opposed to living in the past (as many here seem wont to do)

    Something has to be offered to the incalcitrant republicans that need need need to have some budget balance.  We could do worse than a moderate decrease in the rate of growth of a program.  

    What else could be offered?  Or is it bully pulpit time again?

    So apparently (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    Apparently extrapolating future behavior based on past events is "living in the past"?  Are you proposing living each day as if it were a new day?  Did you know that's a neurological disorder?  

    Doing the same thing over and over again (such as offering concessions to TP Republicans) and expecting different results might not be a real definition of insanity, but it definitely shows a certain -- dimness of intellect -- don't you think?  And definitely a failure of imagination.


    It certainly shows an unfamiliarity... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:17:29 PM EST
    ...with what happens when you let Lucy hold the football.

    Lets deal with some present day realities (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:11:12 PM EST
    and your understanding of what is a modest decrease in benefits. A $2,354.81 reduction on annual benefits of $14,800 when Social Security is your sole source of income is not a modest decrease.

    It has been stated numerous times here on this blog with supportive links that the chained CPI does not impact just Social Security but reduces the eligibility of every domestic program that the poor rely on to survive. Just to mention a few it impacts the school lunch program, SNAP, Emergency heating programs and it also results in a regressive tax increase on the working poor and the middle class.

    The fact that you consistently choose to ignore the negative impact of chained CPI in your zeal to defend Obama does not change the facts.

    No offering up benefits that help the sick, the elderly and the poor in exchange for further tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations does not need to happen. If the Dems in Congress choose to pursue this course along with Obama, the legislation will pass with a majority of Democratic votes it will be the demise of the Democratic party.


    Please point to the proposal (none / 0) (#38)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:43:11 PM EST
    where someone "whose sole income" is slated to get a benefit decrease.

    Here's what the proposals says:

    Spending Savings from Superlative CPI with protections for vulnerable

    You know what else hurts the poor & middle class?  Not having a job, being furloughed.  You're talking about people that may be affected while people are actually hurting now.


    are you still trying to say (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:08:25 PM EST
    that cutting Social Security is necessary to stop people from being furloughed from their jobs? Please stop.

    And we're talking about people (5.00 / 4) (#52)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:45:05 PM EST
    who have the power to repeal the sequester, so try again.

    These people are CHOOSING to do this, they are not powerless.


    Have you read the proposals regarding (5.00 / 5) (#95)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:26:08 PM EST
    the protections for the vulnerable?

    Chained CPI Imposes Painful Social Security Benefit Cuts
    and a Benefit Bump-Up Provides Only Limited Relief

    o provides no relief to anyone from the first 20 years of cuts from the chained CPI.

    o  bump-up would restore monthly benefits to current-law levels for only two years for the typical single elderly woman - and then fall behind again.

    o A bump-up in Social Security benefits would
    provide no relief to most of the poorest
    elders who rely on SSI

    o A "birthday bump-up" would provide zero
    benefit to people receiving disability

    Switching to the chained CPI is not a mere
    technical adjustment. It is a substantial cut in Social Security benefits that targets the very old and people with long-term disabilities and the fix that has been proposed does not adequately protect vulnerable beneficiaries.

    Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for half or more of their income; one-third rely on Social Security for ninety percent or more of their income. Those benefits are modest, averaging just $14,900 a year for retirees, just $13,600 for all beneficiaries.

    Daniel Marans: Ten Reasons Why the Chained CPI Is Terrible Policy

    The Chained CPI is a Bad Deal for Kids and Low-Income Working-Age Adults Too.

    I am not talking about people who may be affected. I am talking about real people who will definitely be affected long term if Obama gets the chained CPI that he is promoting as a result of this manufactured crisis.


    yes, let us all pretend (5.00 / 8) (#35)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:17:22 PM EST
    that we did not see this coming so that vicndabx doesn't have to feel like a fool.  And certainly we should not discuss the spectacle of a democratic president who keeps insisting on cuts to social security even though the republicans are NOT asking for them.  

    Here is the point...this is NOT Obama throwing something to the republicans to get a deal.  This is Obama getting what he has talked about since at least 2007.  That is why we are talking about it and why we are not letting people like you shame us in to stuffing it down the memory hole.  Sorry the past is so distressingly inconvenient to your politics.  I am more concerned with the future inconvenience of medicare recipients who will not be able to buy cat food with their food stamps.


    I meant Social security (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:55:55 PM EST
    recipients of course.  

    Social Security is not part of the (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:40:02 PM EST
    budget, and even if it were, it should not the the thing that is offered to the GOP like a sacrificial lamb.  Especially since - at least in my opinion - the last thing you want to do with people who would really just like to dump SS into the private market is to open the door to that with benefit cuts.  I can hear it now - "well, if people REALLY want to get a better return on their contributions, we should allow them to invest it themselves."

    The reality is that people are saying the kinds of things you are because they've been led to believe that there's some reason why we HAVE TO reduce the deficit - and don't say "sequester!" because they didn't have to do that, either, and having done it, they can undo it.

    I won't argue monetary theory with you, because I know you don't agree with the concept of the US being sovereign in its own currency and what that should mean for fiscal policy.

    And aside from there being no statutory or constitutional justification for doing this, there's no moral justification for policies and actions that take more and more from people who not only have less and less, but have fewer options for changing their situation.

    If there's "something" that should be offered to the GOP, it should be the back of our collective hand.


    I also think (none / 0) (#30)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:48:27 AM EST
    a calculation has been made that there are many gen x and millenial centrists who believe that they will not be that reliant on SS and thus, won't be significantly impacted.  For those that are most vulnerable, I suspect some protections will be built in as part of any deal.

    what are they going to be reliant on (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:53:22 PM EST
    when Mommy and Daddy no longer have an empty basement and free food to give them?

    Maybe (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:56:29 PM EST
    The can sneak in the nursing home at night and sleep in the chair next to mommy's bed and steal the jello off her tray.

    Heck - "they"??? That's going to be me!


    ok...good one (none / 0) (#44)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:11:57 PM EST
    Nursing home? (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:29:50 PM EST
    Baby boomers could afford to stick their aging parents in a nursing home...we're gonna have to actually take care of ours ourselves.

    I got a jumbo-sized refrigerator box picked out, if and when I gotta take moms in;)


    Except all those Boomers who have been laid off (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:36:21 PM EST
    and don't have much hpe of landing decent paying jobs again. Or who's 401ks tanked (or will tank again), stagnant wages etc . . .

    Yeah, us Boomers are doing great these days  ;)


    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:48:41 PM EST
    but we are supposedly the first American generation that is gonna do worse than our Boomer parents....so we'll have those same problems and have to take care of broke-arse mom & dad too.

    But I got hip to the 401k scam young and wasn't foolishly racking up student loans, so me and moms got that going for us.  We may be living in a cardboard box together, but we will be debt free;)


    Those 401k's (none / 0) (#73)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:54:42 PM EST
    are currently at record highs. (for those that buy and hold rather than buy and panic)

    Only two numbers matter... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:20:43 PM EST
    how much ya put in and how much ya cash out when ya need money to live on.  Record high today means nothing unless you're cashing out today.

    That's true (none / 0) (#122)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:11:56 PM EST
    but cashing out is silly as over any twenty year period it grows at a rate between eight and ten percent, thereby letting you withdraw an annual percentage without ever touching the nest egg. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but over any twenty year period it's damn near golden.

    On a related note, the Dow rose for the 9th straight day today for the first time since Nov 1996 when Bill Clinton was winnng his second term as President.


    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#131)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:06:14 PM EST
    I know I'll probably be kicking myself for not playing ball with the Wall St. mafia down the road...but the main thing for me is not feeding the beast, not even with the pittance I could afford to throw in a 401k.  It's the principle.

    That being said, with more and more people needing to bite the bullet and cash out 401ks early because of the sh*tty job market and/or cost of living increases and/or illness emergency...it's not the same safe bet it used to be.  If god forbid ya need to cash out early to eat you're getting royally f*cked on fees and the tax hit, plus the unknown market conditions on any given rainy day.


    For a well educated investors, the 401k (none / 0) (#140)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:33:36 PM EST
    experiment may be a success. For many it will not.

    Yet even if stocks do rebound, the truth is that Most 401(k) holders will never accumulate enough money in these accounts for a secure retirement. Few workers and their employers contribute at the level needed to build up a serious nest egg, and the median balance in a 401(k) for people approaching 65 is under $100,000, according to recent study by my colleague at Demos, Robert Hiltonsmith. On top of that, 401(k)s have been battered by two major stock market crashes in the past 12 years and, further, many Americans have withdrawn money from their 401(k)s to cover emergency expenses. Experts on retirement forecast that millions of middle class baby boomers will fall into poverty, or near poverty, in old age - thanks to the failure of the 401(k) experiment. link

    The article goes on to give 5 reason why the author thinks the experiment is a flop.


    Here is a little more information (5.00 / 3) (#179)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:43:56 PM EST
    for you using data.

    President Obama Wants to Give a Bigger Hit to Seniors on Social Security than He Did to the Wealthy on Taxes

    That's what President Obama's aides keep saying. They generally don't put in those terms, probably because they assume that everyone already knows, but the cut to the typical senior's Social Security benefit from the adoption of the chained CPI would be a larger hit to their income in retirement than the increase in income taxes put in place at the start of the year is the typical affluent taxpayer.
    If we assume that a typical beneficiary lives long enough to collect benefits for 20 years, their hit from the chained CPI would on average be 3.0 percent over this period.

    ...By contrast, if we assume that a couple earning $500,000 a year is the typical household affected by the tax increase....This means that the Obama tax increase would reduce their after tax income by a bit less than 0.7 percent. This means that the hit to Social Security beneficiaries from the chained CPI will be around three times as large as the hit to the typical affluent taxpayer from the Obama tax increase.

    You SUSPECT that some protections will be (3.50 / 2) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:57:32 PM EST
    built in for the most vulnerable. Would you please share with us the exact income level that qualifies for being the most vulnerable in Obama's plan for implementing the chained CPI. Also please share with us the exact method that will protected the most vulnerable and some reliable sources (not Alan Simpson or Pete Peterson) that state that the method will in fact protect the most vulnerable.

    Also it would be nice if you would provide the data that supports this statement:

    a calculation has been made that there are many gen x and millenial centrists who believe that they will not be that reliant on SS and thus, won't be significantly impacted.

    A link that provides real data for the calculations (including percentage of population, income levels etc.) rather than what you suspect or believe.


    Why? (2.00 / 2) (#130)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:01:40 PM EST
    I really don't have to do that.  This is a blog where opinions are spouted daily.  We just don't agree.  

    Life is too short to get caught up w/the BS that goes on here.

    I could find something I'm sure, but then you'd find something opposite, and on and on, it's stupid, really.


    No but it would be nice if you would (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:21:54 PM EST
    provide what you demand from others.

    Please point to the proposal (none / 0) (#38)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:43:11 AM CST
    where someone "whose sole income" is slated to get a benefit decrease.

    Here's what the proposals says:

    Spending Savings from Superlative CPI with protections for vulnerable

    I "suspect" that the main reason you don't have to is because you can't.

    You might want to note that I did provide you with actual data on how the protections under discussion don't really protect the most vulnerable.


    Ok (none / 0) (#168)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:16:21 PM EST
    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    The policy clearly amounts to a reduction in future Social Security benefits, which many find objectionable. However, we believe that the chained CPI is a reasonable component of a comprehensive package to put the budget on a sustainable course, under the following conditions

    Center for American Progress

    Update the program in line with economic insights. New ways of measuring inflation more accurately and gauging investment risks will make it easier to deliver reliable benefits over time.

    Jared Bernstein

    The chained CPI switch makes more substantive sense, but it's by no means a simple call.

    and just to demonstrate that even those on the left we love realize we must negotiate now while our backs are NOT against the wall, even Joseph Stiglitz agrees something should be done (although I disagree with his approach):

    I think that there is scope for fine-tuning our Social Security system. One of the easiest solutions is increasing the age of retirement, but that only works for people like me who have high incomes and whose life expectancy and health is quite good. For a lot of people at the bottom that's not true, so there can't just be an across-the-board increase in age of retirement.

    You'll note the recommendations from CBPP and CAP all include measures to offset negative impact to the most vulnerable.  While there has been no concrete proposal coming out of the negotiations, every time I hear a democrat speaking, I hear similar things about protecting the most vulnerable and limiting impact to the middle class.


    Jared Bernstein from your link (5.00 / 3) (#177)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:06:03 PM EST
    Cutting right to the chase, the cliff is almost upon us, and deciding big changes in social insurance programs--Medicare and Social Security, in particular--in this climate makes no sense.   That includes both raising the Medicare eligibility age and the move to a chained CPI, which by dint of growing more slowly, would reduce Social Security benefits (and increase tax revenues

    -Some advocates for retirees have suggested that if the goal is to switch Social Security to a more accurate price index, we should consider the CPI-E ("E" is for an experimental  index for the elderly).  This makes sense because the elderly really do face a different consumption market basket than the rest of us, with larger expenditure shares on medical care and housing, and less on, say, work-related costs, like transportation (see figure below).

    -The problem is that the `E' index is not computed as accurately as it should be, but the BLS could whip it into shape if Congress would provide the resources (I don't know how much, but a) we're talking millions not billions, and b) it would pay for itself pretty quickly--the main problem is the sample of goods and their weights are not representative of the elderly's expenditures).

    Using CPI-E rather than the current method would result in a benefit increase not a cut.

    So far you are still "suspecting" that the most vulnerable will be protected based on what you admit are vague statements with no concrete proposals. Once again there is no exact income level defining the most vulnerable in Obama's plan for implementing the chained CPI. No exact method to protected the most vulnerable has been identified. And while there is significant analysis done on why the 20 year bump does not in fact protect the most vulnerable, there is no published analysis proving that it will protect them.


    And what's on the GOP wish list? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:12:34 PM EST
    Oh, yeah, right, we forgot.

    Offering further speculation concerning someone else's initial speculation about another's political posturing is punditry chasing its own tail.

    Apparently (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    BTD was wrong.  It can be denied.
    At this point it is impossible to deny that the idea of cutting Social Security is on Obama's wish list, not the GOP's.

    If Anyone Cares... (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:26:59 PM EST
    ...white smoke at Sistine Chapel.

    I find the whole process rather nauseating and find it hard to believe a billion people are down with this kind of whoey fooey.  

    Hey old guys dressed like cult leaders, you don't need smoke signals is 2013.

    C'mon... (3.50 / 2) (#51)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:43:27 PM EST
    the smoke signals are the best part of the performance.  Reminds me of my house...black smoke out the chimney, white smoke out my window;)

    I mean at least they have pageantry...this austerity debate show in Washington DC could use some smoke machines and costumes.


    They are blowing enough smoke in DC (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:50:41 PM EST
    You guys may be asked to (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by fishcamp on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:41:33 PM EST
    step over to the Purgatory and Limbo line for further questioning.

    I love parades and costumes (none / 0) (#54)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:50:14 PM EST
    but, as a Jew, all white smoke means to me is the engine's got blow-by and good luck finding a mechanic wiling bargain over the repairs!

    How do you feel about? (none / 0) (#53)
    by bocajeff on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:48:58 PM EST
    Inaugural parades, 4th of July fireworks, Trophy presentations at sporting events, balloons dropping from the ceiling at political conventions?

    Don't know about Scott, (none / 0) (#71)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:37:27 PM EST
    but I also look askance at all the hoopla you mentioned, as well.

    What ? (none / 0) (#111)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:41:22 PM EST
    You listed celebratory stuff, because there really isn't an equivalent to smoke signals.  It's like the entire organization, dated and the alternatives are too numerous to mention.  Their celebration is coming soon enough.

    Private funding stuff is not the same as publicly funded.  So if you are asking me if I think Houston should spend a million bucks on fireworks while kids go hungry, the answer is obvious.  But at least that is something the majority supports, not some chosen few to celebrate something most people don't.  So I do think the NFL should hand out cash awards and trophy rings, sure, they can spend their private funds on whatever they want.

    The church is a gray area, because while the funds are private, they are leveraged against people's fear of the unknown after death.

    I find the Obama inauguration extremely wasteful since he was already President and the opulence of the British marriage was disgusting as the country had been told austerity rules.


    Ummm, the smoke signals are rather new (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Towanda on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:10:30 PM EST
    really, a practice in election of the pontiff for only about a hundred years now.  It started in 1903.

    That's downright newfangled in an institution more than two thousand years old.


    Towanda, it's nice to see you around the place (none / 0) (#156)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:41:31 PM EST
    again. I've been thinking about you, wondering if you're okay.

    Thanks, caseyOR! (none / 0) (#163)
    by Towanda on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:20:40 PM EST
    I had to get away for a while, when some stuff on the site was driving up my blood pressure -- I do not handle hypocrisy well -- in addition to  other stuff going on in life (or, actually, deaths).  

    Not that life is getting less complicated, lately, with another kid laid off this week in this, y'know, great recovery of the economy.  Not.

    But some good things have been keeping the family  very busy, too.  


    I'm so sorry (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:35:49 AM EST
    to hear about your losses.

    "Chosen few"? (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:29:01 PM EST
    Like the 1 billion Catholics around the world and the world leaders who have to deal with the Church  as a force (whether you like it or not).

    I guess we shouldn't pay attention to China either. I mean - it's only a billion people.


    Yeah... (none / 0) (#189)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:26:28 AM EST
    I know your favorite thing is to bust balls, but seriously, the chosen few ?  Though jews were the chosen ones, never heard a catholic refer to themselves as chosen.  

    The chosen few I was referring to are the Cardinals, who are chosen and pick the new Pope.  FYI, I did mentioned the billion in my original post.  

    But since you brought it up, the church claims a 1 billion people,  while a lot, in reality it's ~15% of the worlds population, roughly the same number of people claiming non-religiouis status.

    This is just another media "It's important because we say so" moment.  I suspect of that billion, many could not even name the new pope if asked today.  But that is just my opinion.  My point, don't confuse the number of people who are labeled Catholic with the number of people that actually celebrated yesterday's announcement.


    Sure (2.00 / 1) (#190)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:49:10 AM EST
    By your logic, don't count the number of people in the US, with the number of people who celebrated the re-election of Barack Obama.  Psst...it wasn't the 50+ % who voted for him - those that cheered were definitely a minority in this country.

    And I didn't say Catholics were the "chosen" - I was using your words.

    And frankly, if balls need to be busted, then they need to be busted.  Wear your cup.


    Grow Up... (none / 0) (#193)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:33:21 AM EST
    I think I covered the nonsensical Obama stuff, so trying to but it on my me, is silly.  Plus no one claimed this about Obama's election:
    Like the 1 billion Catholics around the world and the world leaders who have to deal with the Church  as a force (whether you like it or not).

    Because it's a ridiculous statement to make, in reality this will effect a miniscule fraction of any population.  Just like the last dog and pony show from the Vatican.

    I agree about busting balls, I used to like your input, but lately it seems like more of a reflex.  Adding something to the conversation and calling BS is great, but going all JB to just to be the antagonist is just tiring.  Especially with stuff that is clearly subjective, which this is.

    It's not busting balls its being argumentative for the sake of wanted to be right about everything, and I mean Everything.  So if it will stop this chain, you are right this is easily the biggest and most important world event since the last pope non-sense.  Happy, Pappy ?


    Then we agree (none / 0) (#194)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:06:30 PM EST
    I think the same of you - I used to really enjoy your comments, but lately it's YOU who always wants to be right.

    Glad we can agree, so please feel free not to respond to my comments if they so antagonize you.


    Hey kids (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:22:12 PM EST
    Stand down.  Just take the prickly out of your responses to each other.  You and ScottW714 both have insight to offer, and you're both prickly at times.  (Unlike me, of course)

    To you both:  Even in your argumentative comments there's usually something worth reading.  I don't always agree, but there's usually something there.

    And anyway, it's my job to pick a clause and take the conversation sideways,  I think.  Moreover if anyone is always right, it's me.  So the two of arguing about who always wants to be right is totally unnecessary.

    Just sayin'


    Not a Big Deal... (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 05:01:15 PM EST
    ...my mostly kidding jabs, after I read them later, come across with more bite than I meant.  Above, to me the Costanza quote should make it pretty clear I wasn't very serious.
    Happy, Pappy ?

    From Argentina (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:15:40 PM EST
    Pope Francis

    Nice hit... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:31:05 PM EST
    at 33-1 odds, any winners?

    He was runner up (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:00:39 PM EST
    Last time, per Wiki and "papabile."  Isn't that a terrific word?

    it sounds bile (none / 0) (#79)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:05:07 PM EST
    Show some respect. (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:06:16 PM EST
    Have I been chastised? (none / 0) (#96)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:26:14 PM EST
    to be served the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle? Or can I repent and receive the chalice from the palace with the brew that is true?

    Can I have some of whatever it (none / 0) (#101)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:30:32 PM EST
    is you're having this afternoon?

    I'm having a sense of Pope Frank - meet Dr. Seuss...so maybe I don't need any of what you're having after all...


    Plagiarism (none / 0) (#125)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:32:51 PM EST
    I stole it from "The Court Jester" with Danny Kaye.

    NYT informs me the Cardinals who (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:31:50 PM EST
    used to place the slips of paper in a chalice.

    First Jesuit (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:02:29 PM EST
    And he started off with a tiny little joke - something about being the Bishop of Rome and how they had to go a LOOOONGGG way to get him, but he was there now.  Point in his favor - he has a sense of humor, and in the most solemn (yet celebratory) time, with the world watching, he wasn't afraid to show it.

    I have been wondering (none / 0) (#102)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:31:27 PM EST
    how the liberal blogs and web sites could possibly match the mean and nasty "the pope is a nazi" frenzy of Benedict's beginning.

    They'll talk about (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:32:34 PM EST
    The Junta

    that could be it (none / 0) (#120)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:01:41 PM EST
    I am not catholic. As an unrepentant feminist I have a few issues with the Catholic church.  But I never have seen the purpose of torturing other people about their religion and the months following the selection of Pope Benedict were just ugly for liberal Catholics online.

    This is the ultimate cynic's move... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:04:08 PM EST
    ...on Ryan's part. Obama may be a dweeb, but Ryan is doing the equivalent of helping an old lady across the street, while a the same time taking a cell phone call from her broker about hedging her life insurance policy.

    One is bad and inexcusable, the other is simply ghastly. Take your pick.

    Can I pick (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:05:40 PM EST
    "none of the above"?

    You may (none / 0) (#62)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:07:01 PM EST
    I won't object. Though I may PROject. Ahem. ;-)

    After all, Theatre of the Absurd... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:09:31 PM EST
    ...is hard to block and/or choreograph without corrupting the absurd part.

    Or take or pRick (none / 0) (#59)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:05:18 PM EST
    Not quite the same difference, but close enough to edge me closer to the gas pipe. Kidding. Mostly.

    or take YOUR prick, sheesh (none / 0) (#61)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:05:48 PM EST
    proofreading is your friend. ARghhh!!

    It's politics... (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:04:20 PM EST
    ...there are more than enough pricks to go around.

    Do you have an opinion as to why this might be so? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:21:33 PM EST
    "At this point it is impossible to deny that the idea of cutting Social Security is on Obama's wish list, not the GOP's."

    I think the GOP does want to cut SS. (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:59:32 PM EST
    It is not on their current list because they don't have to put it on the list. With Obama pushing cuts to SS, and getting Dems to go along with it, the Republicans get two big wins.

    1- SS gets cut.

    2- Democrats take the blame for those cuts. Anyone who does not know that the GOP will brand the Dems as the party that cut SS, and campaign heavily on that, is a fool. Apparently, the Democratic caucuses inCongress are filled with fools.


    So true (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:13:31 PM EST
    Obama is definitely going for a twofer. He gets to cut Social Security and also ensures that the Democratic Party gets the credit for the cuts.

    Any and all cuts to the safety net programs will be passed with a majority of Democratic votes. The majority of Republicans will vote no and only the least amount of yes votes will be casted.