Obama's Budget to Include Cuts to Medicare and Social Security

President Obama's new budget is likely to include cuts to Medicare and Social Security. About the only details being leaked are:

  • a change in the way inflation is calculated which is likely to result in social security recipients receiving less
  • cuts in payments to medical providers and drug companies (which will mean fewer doctors for the elderly, a group that is rapidly increasing in size)
  • Medicare premiums will be higher for those in upper income brackets.

In exchange for the cuts, Obama is said to be demanding Republicans agree to the tax increases he proposed last year, including higher taxes for wealthier Americans.

Another Obama suggestion: More taxes on cigarettes to cover making pre-kindergarten free nationwide.

Another Obama proposal: People will not be able to collect both disability and unemployment benefits.

Why do media organizations continue to refer to Medicare and Social Security as "entitlement programs?" How is something we've paid into our entire working lives an entitlement rather than something we've already earned? If the Government doesn't want to adequately compensate us when we reach the cash-in age, just give us back all the money we paid in under the false promise we'd be treated fairly.

This just sucks. As far as I'm concerned, we should be cutting the Defense and Justice Department budgets, not cutting health care payments to health care providers for the elderly, leaving them without adequate medical care, or restricting the already paltry amounts they receive for social security. And enough with the nanny state taxes on cigarettes. If we're going to have sin taxes on frowned-upon habits, legalize and tax all drugs.

If this is how Obama is starting his second term, I hope Bruce Springsteen sends him a cease and desist letter preventing him from u)sing this song at any future fundraisers:

This one may be far closer to the truth:

Here's a Poll: Which one song more fits Obama's plans?

< Zimmerman Files Appeal Over Benjamin Crump's Deposition | Friday Open Thread >


Which Song Applies More to Obama's Social Sec. and Midicare cuts?
We take care of our Own 13%
Bad Medicine 66%
Neither 20%

Votes: 15
Results | Other Polls
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    Who cares (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kmblue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:11:55 AM EST
    about songs?  We are confirmed in our opinion that Obama is a spineless weakling who will do anything to make the GOP like him.  I'm so angry.  What did we re-elect him for?

    Oh yeah, I forgot. Romney would be worse.
     If only people would march on Washington, and end by holding up signs outside the White House to remind the president who elected him.

    He (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:53:12 AM EST
    knows who elected him.

    The corporations who sponsored his campaign.

    As it was with his predecessor, Obama knows that if people get up in arms, march on Washington, take to the streets, propose not paying income taxes etc., that the media will treat them with contempt. If that doesn't work, they will ignore the protesters.

    And, if that doesn't work, the government can ignite a crisis anywhere it wishes, North Korea, Iran, Russia - anyfking place.
    And the media will gleefully wave the flag. News anchors will report from some foreign capital and don trenchcoats.

    And, if that doesn't work, there is always the threat of an imminent terrorist attack to calm people down.

    And, if that doesn't work, there is always the blowing up of a building or two, and laying the blame on a domestic enemy.

    My friend, the only thing that can change things is a revolution. The founders of our republic knew this and said so.

    But, as Malcolm X said, revolutions are bloody.

    We have not yet been pushed to that level of desperation - the level of desperation felt by the people in Watts in 1965.

    But that could be our future.


    On March 23 Chomsky said (5.00 / 6) (#76)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:29:17 AM EST
    "Unless the powerful are capable of learning to respect the dignity of their victims ... impassable barriers will remain, and the world will be doomed to violence, cruelty and bitter suffering."

    They are not. Throughout history they have not been interested in allowing themselves to.

    To do so would mean people who want it all and believe they deserve to have it all putting restrictions on themselves. The "dignity of others" is not something they respect. They are not interested in limiting their own self-interest.

    Morality is something the powerful push as a means of convincing most to limit themselves, to deter what they view as competition.

    Morality is not something the powerful live by.

    Lesser of two evils voting in every presidential election for decades is what got America into the pathetic shape it's in now.

    Something has to be done to put a stop to republicans - and democrats - caving to obama.

    He bends over backwards and falls all over himself to compromise and - pre-emptively - give republicans anything they want. He's a republicans wet dream of a president. And his supporters still fall all over themselves to make excuses for him and cheer while he drones them.

    The White House official admits budget sequester was Obama's idea

    On [March 1, 2013] across-the-board cuts of $85 billion [went] into effect, wreaking havoc on most government operations. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program and what's left of welfare are not directly affected, but these so-called "entitlement" programs have, in fact, always been the primary targets of this cascade of manufactured crises... Obama is fully complicit in the corporate-imposed charade.
    It was Obama who swallowed whole the corporate argument, previously championed by Republicans, that the national debt was Crisis Number One and that entitlement programs were the root cause. From the moment in January of 2009 when Obama served notice that Social Security and all other entitlements would be put on the chopping block, he became the chief mover and shaker for so-called entitlement reform. He created the model for austerity, through his Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. It was Simpson-Bowles that provided the basis for the massive cuts offered by President Obama in 2011. When the Republicans balked at even a modest tax increase for the rich, it was the White House National Economic Council Director, the corporate deal-maker Gene Sperling, who came up with the sequestration scheme, which was timed to explode right after the 2012 elections. The idea was to make every popular constituency in the country scream - and accept the inevitability of massive entitlement cuts.

    Thousands of Medicare patients lost chemotherapy because of Obama's sequester.

    In one series of clinics in NY, over 5,000 Medicare chemotherapy patients are now being turned away because of the sequester. Multiply that nationwide.


    Almost everyone else is also waiting for someone else to go first. To take the risks for them. Almost everyone wants to play it safe, while trying to play it safe turns out to be the most dangerous thing there is.

    You're not alone. There is strength in numbers. And the .0001% are counting on those numbers. And laughing. All the way to bank.

    There are no safe simple solutions. In revolutions people get hurt. In revolutions people die.

    But a revolution is what it will take.

    As Chris Hedges has noted: "You do not fight tyrants because you are going to win. You fight tyrants because they are tyrants."

    This Is Where We Are

    The great question now is whether we as a nation can awaken from this long historic nightmare and face the terrifying and exhilarating prospect of living in the full light of reality without the false props and dishonest constructs of a hoodwinked, herded and dishonored people or, whether we have internalized the falsity and disease to such an extent that it has become an organic, overmastering form of insanity.

    Don't Look Out The Window

    Humankind is being systematically killed off by the capitalist class, via their poisoning of the air, water and food chain, as well as their heedless imposition of catastrophic climate change. Jensen poses the very reasonable question: are we willing to retaliate violently to save our own lives and those of our children and grandchildren?

    The situation sucks.

    "No one here gets out alive" -- Jim Morrison, The Doors

    If the 310 million Americans who, so far, have been acting like they are outnumbered by a few thousand wall streeters, media moguls, insurance company and weapons manufacturer execs and other assorted 'plutocrats', 100 senators, 435 congresspeople, and maybe a couple of hundred in the US Administration, DON'T rise to the occasion...

    ...this is When The Music's Over


    I care about songs... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:50:17 AM EST
    a lot more than I care about politics...songs enrich my life, politics is more a morbid curiousity;)

    You're absolutely right that voting is pretty useless as a tool to preserve and expand the safety net for the sick and the old and the children.  Our choices are hit the street and disobey and revolt.  Or keep bending over.


    kmblue, sorry you don't (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:22:05 AM EST
    see the irony in "We Take Care of our Own" being played at the end of every Obama campaign stop and his reported intended failure to do just that.

    Song lyrics are part of how my brain works and thinks, they pop in and visit as part of everyday thoughts on just about every topic. Sometimes I share them. There are other blogs who don't use them if they bother you that much.


    Songs In The Alto Castrato Key Of Life (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:21:49 AM EST

    the financial powers are a special interest group, quite disappointed that Obama took Larry Summers over say Brooksley Born in the first term, but since he is now a lame duck, he could drop 'em but he doesn't


    We (5.00 / 11) (#2)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:27:07 AM EST
    knew this about Obama going into the last election.
    It is no surprise that placing even more burden on the poor, the nearly-poor and the elderly was "on the table" for him.

    The only thing that Obama had going for him during the last campaign were the assertions, sometimes jubilantly expressed, that Romney was worse.

    True, Romney might have been worse.
    Anything is possible.

    But we are confronted with the grim reality that these proposals which will harm the weakest among us, the ones who have already suffered the most under the Bush-Obama years, these proposals are being made by a Democratic president. These proposals are being made by the leader of the Democratic party.

    The Republican party today bears no resemblance to the Republican party of Eisenhower. The Democratic party bears no resemblance to the party of Roosevelt.

    But they do bear an eerie resemblance to each other.

    This should be real popular among Vets also (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:29:55 PM EST
    3. Benefits for disabled and retired veterans would be cut. 3.2 million disabled veterans and another 2 million military retirees would see their benefits cut if chained CPI is adopted. Permanently disabled veterans who started receiving disability benefits at age 30 would see their benefits cut by more than $1,400 a year at age 45, $2,300 a year at age 55 and $3,200 a year at age 65.

    Vets are saying that they already sacrificed enough. Who, other than Obama, can look a disabled vet in the eye and disagree.


    No surprise here (5.00 / 10) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:40:12 AM EST
    This is what Obama has been wanting to do for at least 6 years.

    Obama on many occasions (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by samsguy18 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:52:21 AM EST
    Especially when courting the youth vote made it a point to
    "Blame" the baby boomers and the elderly  for  the state of the economy..Medicare...social security etc etc....it makes me furious....His history has been to divide and separate...sadly what may unite the elderly and the young people in this country is their need to survive against an administration hell bent on  creating abject poverty,chaos ,fear and havoc to advance their agenda

    Yes, yet at times when on the campaign (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:43:29 PM EST
    trail he sang a different tune. Obama campaigning against John McCain.Video at Hullabaloo

    "John McCain's campaign has suggested that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost of living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either."

    Then of course we have this particular song and dance (otherwise known as a pledge) by Obama.

    No family making less than $250,000 will see "any form of tax increase."

    "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes." video link

    By advocating for the chained CPI Obama is attempting to break both pledges. He would be cutting the cost of living adjustments on Social Security and he would be raising taxes on the middle class and the working poor. In fact the tax impact of the chained CPI would hit people making $30,000 a year the hardest.


    Why do media organizations (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:11:42 AM EST
    continue to refer to Medicare and Social Security as "entitlement programs?"

    Because they are owned by the same organizations whose CEOs are part of "Fix the Debt," a group advocating for cuts to these same "entitlement programs" to finance additional tax cuts and "tax extenders" for their themselves and their corporations. It is is now and always has been a plan to transfer more money from the poor and the middle class into the pockets of these "masters of the universe."

    These same CEOs and corporations are now and always have been Obama's real constituents.    

    Really? (2.50 / 4) (#9)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:49:28 AM EST
    Because they are government programs created by government to give away benefits to people who didn't previously receive them.

    That's why.

    One can believe they're necessary and morally just but stop pretending that they are some sort of inalienable right when they're not.

    We can continue down the road to bankruptcy or we can make sure the truly needy get the help they need by reforming a bankrupt system.

    There simply isn't enough money to pay for the promises of the federal government.   Even if we got rid of our military and justice department we'd only delay the inevitable.  See Europe.

    Time to face reality that we can't do everything.   Decide what's most important and do that.

    Trying to do it all means everyone loses.


    It (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:09:39 AM EST
    has been my impression that the money "given" to recipients of social security, or medicare benefits (such as they are), comes from tax money previously deposited by the recipients themselves.

    You are putting out there that this is something created by government to "give away benefits".

    This ain't no gift.

    It is a veritable pittance of a refund of the money confiscated by the government over decades.


    Yes, and no (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:31:03 AM EST
    What someone pays in to the system is "credited " to their account, but the actual money paid out to retires today comes from people working today and paying into the system.  In 1960, there were 5.1 workers paying in for every beneficiary taking out.  Today there are a little over 2 workers paying in for every beneficiary taking out.

    You do realize that the changes made (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:20:31 AM EST
    to Social Security in 1983 took into account the fact that the U.S. had an aging population and the baby boomers retiring during this time frame. They factored in the change to the ratio of workers to beneficiaries. The changes included higher tax rates, imposition of taxes on Social Security benefits, and phased increases in the normal retirement age. Using 1960 data to support the argument for cutting benefits is not a valid argument. If you want to provide a valid argument, you will have to show how the benefit ratio and aging population assumptions used as the basis for the 1983 restructuring have changed.

    Also your argument also fails to recognize that they factored in that at some time in the future the spending would rise above tax revenues.

    In an advance funded system, near-term annual surpluses are accumulated in a trust fund that purchases special U.S. Treasury securities to earn interest. When program spending rises above tax revenues, interest earnings supplement revenues to maintain balance. At some point in the future, taxes plus interest earnings will fall below annual benefit payments; then the trust fund can sell its Treasury securities to make up the difference. In this way surpluses over the first three or four decades following the Greenspan Commission's changes could be used to offset projected annual deficits during the final decades, ensuring long-term financial solvency.

    I paid the higher tax rate after 1983 and I experienced the increase in retirement age. I started paying into the Social Security system starting when I was 16 and the government had use of my money until I retired. At times paying the premiums for this social INSURANCE system was a hardship yet the money was deducted from my income each and every pay day for decades. I paid for the benefits I currently receive.

    If the changes made in 1983 in some future decade needs adjustment, make them at that time based on "real data." Do not cut my benefits so that the Social Security Trust fund alway has a huge excess to be used to provide more tax cuts for the wealthy and multi billion dollar corporations or to fund unnecessary wars.


    I wasn't making an argument, per SE (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:20:55 AM EST
    But correcting the notion that what you PERSONALLY paid in, is sitting in a little account, not being touched, which is incorrect.  The money that was taken out of my paycheck on this very day, is not going to a little savings account for me - it is going to pay for people like my mother, my grandmother, and my grandfather.

    And the worker to beneficiary ratio may have been accounted for, but it does not alleviate the problem that SS cannot sustain itself, AS IT IS TODAY.

    I don't agree with the proposed cuts in Obama's plan, and I think we need a better model that accounts for a lower worker to beneficiary ratio, and the fact that many of those jobs aren't paying what they used to.  So, I'm puzzled by your use if the word "argument". I agree with you!


    Of course the money that was collected (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:07:15 PM EST
    is not sitting in individual personal accounts. It is being used to pay benefits and $2.6 trillion is used to reduce the borrowing of the U.S. That $2.6 trillion purchased special U.S. Treasury securities that earn interest.

    Social Security can sustain itself NOW - today. By the most conservative estimates it can pay full benefits until 2033. Since the assumptions used are extremely conservative, there is a good chance that full benefits can be paid for years after that date.  After that date they can pay out at least 75% of its benefits for the next 75 years (the last year analyzed).

    The biggest threat to the sustainability of Social Security now IMO is the austerity program which includes cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicare and domestic programs that our government wants to enact. These cuts will drastically reduce the spendable income for the poor and the middle class thereby weakening demand and putting more people out of work. Higher unemployment will exacerbate worker to beneficiary ratio more than paying out current benefits.  


    What is the difference then? (none / 0) (#49)
    by vicndabx on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:47:45 PM EST
    Since the assumptions used are extremely conservative, there is a good chance that full benefits can be paid for years after that date.  After that date (2033) they can pay out at least 75% of its benefits for the next 75 years (the last year analyzed).

    For example, Social Security payments would continue to grow every year, but by 2030, the median payment would be 3% less than it would be if today's inflation measure were used.

    Aside from 3 years, isn't 3% less better than 25% less?


    Unless Obama's budget is not planning to implement (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:56:49 PM EST
    the chained CPI until 2020, I'm not sure where they came up with the 3% reduction in benefits by 2030.

    Over time, changing to the Chained CPI would result in significant cuts to Social Security benefits:

    a cut of roughly 3 percent after 10 years,
    about 6 percent after 20 years,
    and close to 9 percent after 30 years.

    In addition, lower-income retirees would lose much larger proportions of their income than wealthy ones.

    The cuts Obama wants will be definite cuts that are cumulative thereby reducing the benefits more and more over time. The possible reductions of benefits sometime between 2033 - 2037 are projections based on assumptions and may or may not really occur. Over the course of my lifetime, I have lived through several different attempts to damage or privatize Social Security using the rhetoric that the system is bankrupt. IIRC
    way back when, it wouldn't even be there for youngster like me when I retired and surprise, surprise it is still chugging along.

    Implementing cuts now on the off chance they MAY have to be reduced sometime in the future seems to me to be the height of folly. Unnecessarily implementing cuts to Social Security at a time when Social Security will become the only source of retirement income for much more of the population is not only folly but cruel. Cutting spendable income and pushing more of the population into poverty further reducing demand which will raise unemployment and reduce the number of people paying Social Security taxes is not only folly and cruel but completely self defeating and insane.


    It's Because... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:13:03 PM EST
    ...they are using 'todays inflation'.  And while he neglected to mention what rate that might be, it's 2%, but last year was around ~1.5%.

    Normal inflation is double what we are experiencing, a little over 3%, plus of course there isn't an actual source listed to the quote.  He just put it out there like it's fact.

    Plenty of people have run these numbers, non of them have ever arrived at 3% reduction.

    If that was all, Obama wouldn't be trying to add it to the deal, he's adding it because of the large numbers it 'saves' down the road.  Anyone trying to pretend it's not is a fraud.  


    False dilemma (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by sj on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:01:10 PM EST
    Most poeople receive way more (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:12:45 AM EST
    then what they pay in.

    When SS was started something like 8 or 10 workers paid in for every recipient.

    Now that ratio is down to 1 or 2 to 1.

    People are outliving the fiscal reality of this program.  It's a welfare program plain and simple for most people and we don't do ourselves any favors pretending otherwise.

    I'm not saying it shouldn't exist or needs to be cut drastically but excluding it from budget matters is naive and counter productive.

    Also you can all calm down.   The "Cuts" aren't even real.

    Remind me again when the slight reduction in growth became cuts?  I've never understood that one.


    Once again you are looking strickly at the (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:09:51 AM EST
    dollar amounts paid into the system by an individual as if put it into a non interest bearing deposit account. That is not how the Social Security system was designed. It never has been a non interest bearing individual deposit account. It is a social insurance system and has been since its inception.

    You are conveniently ignoring the fact that Social Security is a social insurance program and the fact that the government had use of our funds to either reduce their borrowings or to invest for over 50 years. In fact, the government still uses the excess funds that have not been paid to an individual even after they retired.


    Save It... (5.00 / 7) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:35:53 AM EST
    ...only the demented would claim the cuts aren't real.  And only the truly demented would propose cutting a program they are almost guaranteed to use along with everyone they know.

    It's not welfare when we all essentially pay a premium each month for future benefits.  It's insurance.

    And quit acting like we don't have the money, have you seen the DoD budget lately, it nearly equal to all the income tax all Americans pay to the Fed, within a percent or to.  And why do we stop collecting SS at $130k, that alone would make any cuts unnecessary.

    A wise man once said:

    To try as much as possible to live like Jesus did on earth and continue his good works by Spreading the gospel through your actions and helping your fellow man through good deals and charity.

    Kindness, outreach and charity are the real purposes of the church and the world can use plenty more of that.

    Those are your words BTW, not sure how that fits into your welfare paradigm, but you know most people would consider welfare, charity.  Not saying I think it's either, just pointing out that a couple weeks ago you seemed interested in helping you fellow man/woman through good deals and charity, and that it was something to aspire to.

    This week you're ready to hack at what little we, your fellow men/women, might get so that the 1% can stop contributing after $130k.  And using terms like 'entitlements' and 'welfare' when 'benefits' and 'charity' would just as accurately describe the same things, but they just don't echo moocher class like 'entitlements' and 'welfare' do, do they ?

    I will never understand how someone can be so ideologically warped, they are willing to hack at their own earned and deserved benefits that they have contributed each paycheck, to guarantee.

    The only hope we have is the republicans are so mentally broken, they refuse to accept what they want because Obama is handing it to them.  Which seems like a real possibility at this point.  I hope the gridlock remains, it's the only thing ensuring these idiots, D's and R's can't F up one of the foundations of humanity in this country.


    Almost guaranteed? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by me only on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:29:28 PM EST
    17% of people born die before reaching 65.

    A lot more than the 1% stop contributing to OASDI, because a lot more than 1% of the country reaches the contribution limit (which is $113,700 this year, not $130,000).


    Of course the total paid out (none / 0) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:38:06 AM EST
    for Social Security will grow over the next 10 years even when individual benefits are cut because the baby boomers will retire. That chart is a dishonest distortion of data to sell the idea that cuts are necessary even though Social Security does not add to the deficit and is even using very conservative method completely solvent 2037 and able to pay close to full benefits for decades.

    The Social Security Trust Fund currently holds approximately $2.6 trillion and can pay full benefits through 2037 and close to full benefits for decades after. Very minor tweaks to the system would strengthen Social Security for future generations and bolster the program in important ways.

    Once again, the 1983 changes to Social Security factored in the number of baby boomers retiring in the next 10 years.


    Let's look at what you rail against (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:44:20 AM EST
    You rail against government programs where people receive benefits from social insurance systems that they paid into for decades. You rail against government programs that provide help that people need to survive. No where have I seen you rail against the government programs that give multi-billion dollar corporations loopholes that allow them to pay zero taxes or in some cases receive tax credits each year. No where have I seen you rail against the tax loopholes that allow extremely wealthy people to avoid paying taxes on much of their income. No where have I seen you complain about the excesses in defense spending or funds wasted in Homeland Security or in privatized prisons.

    Europe is drowning because they have enacted severe austerity programs that continue to increase unemployment and weaken demand and harm rather than help their economies. Of course, these programs do have benefits for the "masters of the universe." They allow the obscenely wealthy to confiscate (i.e. privatize) national treasures of various European Union countries and transfer even more money from ordinary citizens into the hand of wealthy individuals and corporation.

    Europe's woes deepened on Tuesday after surveys revealed much of the continent locked into a spiral of declining manufacturing output and rising unemployment.

    Predictions that the eurozone economies would stage a recovery this year appeared to be woefully wide of the mark as a long-run contraction in manufacturing accelerated and the number of unemployed people in the eurozone reached 12%. Across the wider, 27-country EU the total number of jobless is a record 26.3m.

    Britain failed to shake off the gloom after bad weather and weak demand from the eurozone left the UK manufacturing sector contracting for a second successive month in March. link

    right on (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:59:34 AM EST
    Bonfire of the Vanities

    Let's look at what is real (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:26:16 AM EST
    People who have little or no money cannot buy stuff. Less people buying stuff weakens demand and reduces the need to produce stuff. Less demand and reduced production means far less jobs. Less jobs means more people have little or no money and cannot buy stuff which weakens demand further and results in more job losses and even more people who cannot afford to buy stuff. Less demand and reduced production means far less jobs. Less jobs means more people have little or no money and cannot buy stuff which weakens demand further and results in more job losses and even more people who cannot afford to buy stuff. Repeat.....repeat.....Down and down the austerity spiral we go.

    Your so called solutions are to ensure that more and more people have little or no money to even survive let along buy stuff.  


    I am so tired ... (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by sj on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:53:56 PM EST
    ... of people (not just you) saying "see Europe" without any real understanding of what we are being shown.  The problems we are seeing in Europe are the problems that result from a response of "austerity!!" when there is any sort of economic downturn.  The same call being made in this country using the faces of the "Fix the Debt" CEOs.  You know, the guys who would reap the benefits of everyone else's sacrifice?

    The road of "austerity!!" is the road of moral bankruptcy.  All that cash stashed away by oligarchy is just cash stashed away.  What are they going to do with it?  Acquire even more cash?  

    Tell me, what is one thing they would have to do without if their taxes were in line with the resources they not only control, but also the resources they use?  Maybe only one Lear jet?  Maybe one less house?  How would their well-being be jeopardized by contributing according to their means?  

    Now ask yourself how the well-being of our grandmothers and grandfathers, our mothers and our fathers would be affected by "austerity!!"  That lavish life of having a roof over their heads and food that isn't cat food and health care when it was needed is already barely hanging by a thread for too many people.

    And then people bob their heads to the "austerity!!" drum being beat by the haves and have-mores; somehow not realizing they are sitting on the very branch that they are helping the haves and have-mores saw off.


    Ridiculous n/t (none / 0) (#59)
    by cal1942 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:02:07 PM EST
    More on how Obama, despite the rhetoric, (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:26:29 AM EST
    takes care of his true constituents.

    On January 2, 2013, the President signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

    The "fiscal cliff" legislation passed this week included $76 billion in special-interest tax credits for the likes of General Electric, Hollywood and even Captain Morgan. But these subsidies weren't the fruit of eleventh-hour lobbying conducted on the cliff's edge -- they were crafted back in August in a Senate committee, and they sat dormant until the White House reportedly insisted on them this week...

    General Electric and Citigroup, for instance, hired Breaux and Lott to extend a tax provision that allows multinational corporations to defer U.S. taxes by moving profits into offshore financial subsidiaries. This provision -- known as the "active financing exception" -- is the main tool GE uses to avoid nearly all U.S. corporate income tax. link

    Obama proposes cutting corporate tax rate to 28% from 35% The corporate tax 'shell game'  

    What I find so seemy about (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:58:20 AM EST
    this president is that he doesn't protect all CEO's, just his buddies.

    Obama picks winners and losers based on who will help him implement misguided regulations and who will give money to his never ending campaign.

    While a bipartisan issue I find Obama particularly deceitful as he talks big about evil business but makes sweetheart deals with certain CEO's that agree to play ball.

    Crony Capitalism at it's worse.


    how is he different (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:12:14 AM EST
    than any republican president in that matter?  Obama was the bankers and wall street hedge bet after Dubya made it impossible for any republican to win in 2008.  They knew they had to elect a democrat and they chose one they could buy, just like they normally chose a republican they can buy. GWB (shrub) was owned by many industries.  Obama is owned by a few. But those few are toxic.  Whatever

    seamy (none / 0) (#65)
    by the capstan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:22:14 PM EST
    Not a fan, but at least to date he didn't (none / 0) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:47:55 AM EST
    start a war to enrich his buddies.

    Personally, I feel that this was Crony Capitalism at its worse.

    Halliburton's no-bid contracts for work in Iraq

    Halliburton's Iraq Contracts Now Worth over $10 Billion . ...

    Seamy doesn't come close to describing this abuse of office.


    Enough (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:18:38 AM EST
    with the songs already.

    We've been singing for decades, and what has it gotten us?

    To quote Malcolm, it's time to stop singin' and start swingin'.

    Can't we sing and swing? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:55:01 AM EST
    We should never stop singing...we should stop voting against our interests.

    Wanna save or even better expand SS, Medicare/Medicaid, and other good things?  Wanna stop incarcerating millions?  Step 1 is breaking the two party duopoly on power.


    You (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:29:03 AM EST
    can sing if you want to. I love to sing.

    But it has seemed to me that for too many decades, progressives and/or anti-war people have joined arms, sang a song, and felt that they had accomplished something.

    The government must love seeing a bunch of folks singing while the cops lay a hurtin' on them.

    I'm all for breaking up the two-headed one party system.

    But, you gonna do it with songs?

    We need something a wee bit more physical, imo.

    One step in the right direction would be, in my humble opinion, to at least stop pretending that if we choose Mr. Bad over Mr. Worse that we have won something.

    That has gotten us, in my opinion, absolutely nowhere except deeper in the hole, and deeper into a coma.

    Perhaps that is the middle course for the moment.
    Clearing our minds from endless feelgood propaganda;

    Sing alone or with your buddies, but emerge from the delusion that we are living in a democracy and that singing of songs, or purchasing records by people who sing songs, is going to make a difference in the way we are being treated by the people in power.


    Won't make a difference... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:39:03 AM EST
    but it makes you feel better, and it can make you think, open a mind.  Art is more effective than a lecture.  

    I totally agree on what is required, but it takes a special breed to face the batons and pepper spray and get locked up.  And for what?  The entertainment of Fox News viewers?  Speaking of which, here's some Clash...

    "What do we got for entertainment?
    Cops kicking gypsies on the pavement."


    I (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:05:35 AM EST
    think that an acknowledgment of reality is a prerequisite to real change.

    I personally am not willing to face batons and jail at the moment.
    I do not advise anyone to do it either.

    I remember the millions of people who came out against the Bush administration's (and the media's and the democratic party's) plans to butcher Iraq.

    They got absolutely nowhere.

    But they agreed to limits imposed upon them by the government.
    They stayed in confined areas. They were ridiculed and ignored.
    Hillary and the rest of them claimed they didn't know what Bush was up to, but millions did.

    So - that type of "protest" has been proven to be futile imo.

    What I feel is that a revolution is necessary at this point in time.
    Singing isn't going to do anything - but if it raises consciousness, that is at least a start. Depending on the lyrics.

    But what I am trying to express is that singing songs is not enough - and it has been my impression that many think it is.


    A Tax Revolt... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:15:30 AM EST
    might help, but there are issues there too.  How do you tax revolt when your taxes are taken instead of paid?  And it would have to a coordinated effort of millions, too small a number eveybody gets locked up and nothing changes.

    Water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants?  I don't think it's that bad...yet.  I have as much desire to kill as I do to get locked up, which is less than none.  

    It's a pickle allright;)


    And now we see the (none / 0) (#16)
    by me only on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:53:47 AM EST
    violence inherent in the progressive system.

    What (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:02:35 AM EST

    What progressive system?

    The only violence I see is the violence perpetrated by nuts with guns, and the violence perpetrated by our government upon distant countries.

    What progressive system could you possibly be referring to?

    I see only an increasing repressive system here.
    And that, Monsieur, is precisely what leads to revolution and the violence which I presume you abhor.


    Malcolm Forbes (none / 0) (#22)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:17:28 AM EST
    was a swingin' type of guy, into leather and motorcycles.....



    The elderly in this country have been (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by samsguy18 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:54:17 AM EST
    Devastated financially...their retirement destroyed...many of them are working part time to make ends meet...although Medicare does subsidize their medications many of our seniors find themselves  not having enough money at the end of the month to pay for their portion.  Our elite politicians whose main concern is pushing their personal and political agendas are forcing our most vulnerable citizens into a position where they have no choice. Millions  of dollars  have been allocated by this administration to set up a bureaucracy to  implement a healthcare plan targeting the middle class , the elderly and the poor.  It's called Medicaid !  

    Agreed. and (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:21:40 AM EST
    any reliance on interest from savings has been dashed by the depressed interest rates put in place to assist in a rebound from the Wall Street fiasco.   The elderly look for safe harbor for whatever nest egg they may have--equities are usually not for them.  

    Keep up the good work Obama! (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:16:57 AM EST
    88,000 jobs

    But some how the jobless rate drops to 7.6%

    Do you think he'll have the brass to say we are still slowly on the mend?

    Nevermind (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:19:24 AM EST
    Speaking for the Administration...Alan Kreuger...

    While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are helping to build an economy that creates jobs and works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.

    Sound familiar?   Here's his quote from last month...

    While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction.

    One month's figures - meh (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Yman on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:05:39 PM EST
    Not that I think Obama's record has been all that good , but citing one month's figures can be pretty deceptive.  Last month the number was 268,000, but you didn't have anything to say about that.

    embrace the entitlement! (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by huzzlewhat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:27:21 AM EST
    Why do media organizations continue to refer to Medicare and Social Security as "entitlement programs?" How is something we've paid into our entire working lives an entitlement rather than something we've already earned?

    Because that's what entitlement means. I have no problem saying that those who have paid into the Social Security system are entitled to receive benefits. The problem is that too many people see "entitled to" and hear "feel entitled to." Yes, "entitlement" can be used to mean "a false assumption of deserving x", but it's way down on the list of definitions, coming after "a right to x."

    I am (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:44:54 AM EST
    under the apparent illusion that we are indeed entitled to a fraction of what the government has stolen from us to help us when we need help.

    I think we have every right to feel entitled.

    It's our damn money.


    Yes, exactly. (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by huzzlewhat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:24:00 PM EST
    In this case, we are both entitled, and are entitled to feel entitled.

    as the Court would say (none / 0) (#60)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:44:19 PM EST
    as long as they have 10 years (40 quarters) they can "state a claim, upon which relief can be granted"

    A rough tally on "balanced" deficit (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:47:10 AM EST
    reduction:   Of the deficit reduction of more than $2.5 trillion (over ten years) enacted since 2010, the "balance" is about 80 percent  spending cuts and the rest from tax increases that became law Jan l, 2013.  

    The president's budget would reduce deficits by another $l.8 trillion over the next ten years--$600 billion in higher taxes (e.g., limiting to 28 percent the deductions that individuals in higher tax brackets can claim, tobacco tax increases and repeal of a "loophole" that allows poor souls to collect both disability and unemployment benefits)  and $920 billion through more spending cuts and about $200 billion due to reduced interest payments on the debt.

    The new spending cuts involve $400 billion from health programs  ( e.g., Medicare) and $200 billion from federal retirement programs, the Postal Service and unemployment compensation.  All in all, we get about $4.3 trillion over ten years--this is B.S. (Bowles Simpson).   Not sure where the federal proceeds from the social security CPI come into the deficit reductions, since social security does not contribute  to it.   But, it does play into the failed Cat food calculus as well as the budget deficit's overall austerity, just what is not needed at this time.

    The chained CPI will result in tax increases (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:56:10 AM EST
    for the middle class and the working poor. It will also reduce the eligibility for almost all of the domestic programs such as the school lunch programs, emergency heating assistance, Medicaid and all programs that help people survive. I think those additional revenues and cuts to domestic programs have been factored into his budget.

    I hardly know where to begin, and (5.00 / 5) (#39)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:18:30 AM EST
    I'm not even sure I should bother, but here goes...

    There is no problem with Social Security; it is projected to be able to pay out full benefits for some time.  There is, though, still a problem with the economy - in spite of all the gushing over the stock market - and instituting changes that will put less money in the hands of consumers - much less seniors - is going to just exacerbate the problem.  

    Social Security is not a budget item; it exists separate and apart from the budget and does not affect the deficit, so let's stop screeching about all this money being paid out that isn't there.

    What we need are jobs, and lots of them.  Corporations are sitting on mountains of cash, and are not increasing their hiring, and plans are afoot not to prevent corporations from avoiding paying taxes, but to reform the code so they won't have to be so creative about it.

    Aside from the sheer meanness of devising ways for seniors to get less money after decades of hard work, I think the thing that really bothers me is that we all of this is being done as if we don't have any choice but to squeeze those with the least to give, when, in fact, we do.  

    These are calculated efforts that will not only visit hardship on millions of people, but will, ultimately, end up dismantling a public program and put it in the hands of the private sector - trust me when I tell you that Wall Street can't wait to get its grubby hands on Social Security, and not because they have plans to improve the benefits it pays out, but because of the opportunity it presents to take more for themselves.

    "This just sucks" is what you say when it rains on your wedding day, or you find out you have to put a new roof on your house; what needs to be said about this, and so many other issues, is not permitted by site rules - and even if it was, I'm not sure they would be adequate to convey just how unconscionable these policy choices are, how easily the trust of millions has been betrayed and how craven are the motives behind it.

    Well said!!! (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by mogal on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:22:24 PM EST
    Jobs! It is unfortunate that Obama (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:14:56 PM EST
    did not chose to devote as much time, effort and political capital in getting job programs passed as on cutting Social Security and Medicare.

    Obama (none / 0) (#62)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:09:55 PM EST
    did make an effort, he was always "pivoting to jobs" and takin' it on the road, he got slack for the 1st stimulus cost-per-job being as high as 4.1 million, and that is CBO, the private sector is where the efficiency and productivity is, the taxpaying public in large States or Cities, have been seriously affected by political patronage corruption

    each side has their "base" so in order to win the politician leans over to please other special interests and the middle grounders, compassionate conservatism" worked for Bush and Clinton would "end welfare as we have come to know it"


    He low balled the stimulus program (none / 0) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:58:12 PM EST
    and it was in fact poorly designed and implemented.

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:16:05 PM EST
    Although I'm not so sure that it was "poorly designed and implemented," so much as it was deliberately designed to try to make his base think that he was "working to do something."

    agreed (none / 0) (#73)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:52:01 PM EST
    more so on the Mortgage Foreclosure relief, hard to believe that in actuality, the Financial Predators escape criminal prosecution (justice) yet the average reasonable homeowner (excluding vacation and second homes) can't be allowed to have the Court write down the Principle (contract) but must instead be sent for foreclosure, which accomplishes the same thing along with being out on the street  

    Well, hey (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:00:09 PM EST
    We added 88,000 jobs last month (of course, that's way down from February).

    Insane WH logic (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:39:28 PM EST
    Just so this doesn't get overlooked in the posting below: Really!

    The American people are going to look at a Democratic president's selling out the cornerstones of eighty years of Democratic social policy and blame the Republicans because they won't help him do it?

    President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say.  

    The entire power of the presidency comes down now to the president's ability to "demonstrate his willingness to compromise" with a bunch of vandals and yahoos......It is awful politics and worse policy.

    Mr. Obama's proposed deficit reduction would replace those cuts. And if Republicans continue to resist the president, the White House believes that most Americans will blame them for the fiscal paralysis.    

    No. Stop. Really. You guys are killing me. The American people are going to look at a Democratic president's selling out the cornerstones of eighty years of Democratic social policy and blame the Republicans because they won't help him do it? I can write the "Stop Obama's Raid On Social Security" ads for the 2014 midterms in my sleep.

    People with disabilities (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:48:57 AM EST
    Could y'all please remember that Social Security and Medicare also go to a number of people who are under age 65 but have disabilities? I'm one of those people. There is no means test, i.e., we don't have to prove that we lack money.

    SSI and Medicaid are different.

    Two years after we qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), we qualify for Medicare. Of course, this differs from seniors who don't have to wait 2 years to get Medicare.  

    True (none / 0) (#81)
    by CoralGables on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 05:11:51 PM EST
    seniors wait 65 years

    I wasn't putting down seniors (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:46:23 PM EST
    The difference is that they'll live to be 65, and I won't.

    I wasn't saying that seniors should lose any benefits. I was hoping someone would care about people with disabilities, too.

    Seniors may be healthy and able to work when they become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. By definition, people with disabilities severe enough to qualify for SS can't work for a living wage, and we may not be able to get insurance coverage, or afford COBRA payments. Again, by definition, we need medical care.

    In the 2 years before I could get Medicare, I spent tens of thousands of dollars on medical help, something that most people cannot afford. (My working-class grandparents' home sold for a lot, due to a twist of real-estate fate.)

    I've managed to live 10 years, but it's hard to believe I'll make it into my mid-60s. I would have loved to have been able to wait to collect retirement money.


    Accuracy (1.00 / 3) (#84)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:31:00 AM EST

    Why do media organizations continue to refer to Medicare and Social Security as "entitlement programs?" How is something we've paid into our entire working lives an entitlement rather than something we've already earned?

    The average Medicare beneficiary will get about $3 in benefits for each $1 in taxes paid in.  Now that the baby boom is leaving its peak earning (tax paying) years and entering the peak benefit consuming years the system is strained.

    This is a basic problem with "pay as you go" (Ponzi style) financing.  

    The current system demands the least wealthy segment (the young) pay more and more to provide benefits to the wealthiest segment of society.  Shameful.


    Not in the least accurate (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:06:31 AM EST
    Social Security and Medicare payments are not deposits into non interest bearing accounts. They are premiums paid for social insurance. In the case of Medicare the government has had use of those funds for over 45 years to invest or to reduce their borrowing. In the case of Social Security in many cases the government had use of those funds for over 50 years.

    The average person who has paid into Medicare for decades but dies before they reach 65 receives ZERO benefits.

    A single person without young children who has paid into Social Security for 45 years gets only one payment of $250.00 as a death benefit.

    That is how insurance works.

    For tax purposes you scream that people making $250,000 a year are too poor to pay additional taxes. Yet according to you, seniors whose average annual income is in the $20,000 range are so wealthy that the government should rob them of their benefits. Totally disgusting.


    How insurance works (1.50 / 2) (#86)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:59:50 AM EST

    If you were charged what it takes to provide you with benefits, that would be how insurance works.  

    If that were the case would be no need to raise taxes on the young or divert general revenue from other programs.  You seem to be confusing the sales pitch with reality.

    SS and Medicare charge current workers at a rate sufficient to provide a politically acceptable of benefits to current beneficiaries.

    Are these two programs so sacrosanct that they must continue to pay benefits to millionaires and billionaires?  Far better to cut benefits for plutocrats than that $20K a year senior.




    Seems you really don't know how (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:44:18 AM EST
    insurance works.

    Social Security - the cost of the premium pays for a certain level of benefits based on salary. Less salary = less paid for premiums = lower premiums = lower benefits. Higher salary = more paid for premiums = higher benefits.  

    The way insurance works is that people who pay premiums get benefits regardless of their incomes.

    You and I both know, the minute you tax the rich for Social Security and Medicare and deny them the benefits for which they paid, you and your friends are going to shout that these are undeserved WELFARE payments for "those people" and that the programs need to be eliminated.

    BTW those who want further means testing on Medicare for higher earners, define millionaires and billionaires as individuals with incomes of $47,000 per year. Seems like there are quite a few zeros missing in that figure.


    The moment you make eligibility for (5.00 / 4) (#88)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:04:40 AM EST
    Social Security and Medicare dependent on all incomes below X, you turn these into quasi-welfare programs, where those who aren't eligible will direct their energies at finding ways not to have to contribute, and those who are eligible will be made to feel like second-class citizens - and there's already too much of that going on.

    Maybe that's what you want - maybe you think that if people want to be able to subsist in their retirement years, it's up to them to save on their own.

    The truth of the matter is that there is no need to raise taxes on the young, nor any need to divert revenue from other programs.  These two myths - two of many, sadly - are being disguised as truth for reasons that have nothing to do with deficits or debt or "concern" for future retirees.  This is about cutting the legs out from under two highly successful programs in order to make them vulnerable to takeover by Wall Street vultures who are running out of things to feed on.

    You know how you put the "security" back in "Social Security?"  You lift the cap on wages subject to the tax.  There is no good reason why anyone who makes over the current cap should get what amounts to an automatic pay raise and not have to continue to contribute to the program, while everyone else making wages under the current cap has to make do with less.

    The other truth of the matter is that all of us who work are paying into Medicare, even though we are not eligible for coverage under the program.  But those who are currently enrolled are not just getting Medicare benefits for free; in addition to whatever they paid in during their working lifetimes, they continue to pay premiums on a current basis, as a deduction from their monthly Social Security benefit.

    So, really - enough from you.  If you can't debate and discuss this issue honestly, just stop, please.  We're all tired of constantly having to counter the nonsense you post here, but if you think we're going to eventually let it stand, or agree with it, think again.


    Yes, the alternative would have been... (none / 0) (#4)
    by unitron on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:22:44 AM EST
    ...almost as unthinkable as letting Palin get anywhere near the Presidency, but I was sort of hoping that the joke about the lesser of two weasels didn't really mean having to settle for a weasel to keep the greater weasel out.

    Isn't (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:15:14 AM EST
    it time that we dropped Palin as a focal point of contempt?

    If she had ascended to the Presidency, the same people who pull Obama's strings would be pulling hers. They would tell her where Russia is, and what to say about it.

    She would go to Israel and Palestine and tell them about a two-state solution.

    She would intermittently threaten North Korea or Iran.

    She would propose refurbishing Guantanamo rather than closing it.

    She would incarcerate people like Bradley Manning.

    She would propose cuts to Social Security and Medicaid.

    And, for some, she would be easier on the eyes than Obama.


    But.... (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:51:55 AM EST
    ....but, but, but.... the people with D's behind their names would be backing it, you know those idiots I voted for.

    I was thinking of her more as... (none / 0) (#69)
    by unitron on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:17:35 PM EST
    ...a standard against which the scariness of other potential Republican Presidents could be measured.

    Granted she would technically have only been the Veep unless McCain got really mad about something and blew out his ticker, so no real worries there...


    Now that I think about it... (none / 0) (#70)
    by unitron on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:24:00 PM EST
    ...the Palin should be established as a unit of measure.

    Any other Republican who would, if somehow to become President, be as great a disaster for roughly the same reasons as would Palin if she had held that office, would be rated at 1 Palin, or be said to have a Palin Factor of 100%.

    Romney would've have been a disaster, true, but not quite the full Palin.


    actually, (none / 0) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:30:29 PM EST
    it would be a 1/2 Palin, as she would only serve half a term.

    Here lies the rub: (none / 0) (#91)
    by mplo on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:35:27 PM EST

    the lesser of two weasels didn't really mean having to settle for a weasel to keep the greater weasel out.

    is exactly what the overwhelming majority of people believe, and that, imho, is the big problem, if one gets the drift.


    I'm sorry about the mistake I made above here. (none / 0) (#92)
    by mplo on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:41:23 PM EST
    Actually, this:

    the lesser of two weasels  really does mean having to settle for a weasel to keep the greater weasel out.

    is exactly what the vast majority of voters believe. That, imho, is the big problem here.


    I should probably apologize... (none / 0) (#5)
    by unitron on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:23:33 AM EST
    ...to actual 4 footed weasels.

    As far as songs go I like this one (none / 0) (#50)
    by vicndabx on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:58:26 PM EST
    for all you ol...., um, er, boomers and beyond out there.


    Rolling Stones

    except seniors are (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:15:22 PM EST
    not getting what they need.

    Guess you didn't put much thought (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:44:30 AM EST
    into this comment . . . pompoms get in the way?

    Defense spending is getting cut (none / 0) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:54:59 PM EST

    This is a reply to J's statement that "This just sucks. As far as I'm concerned, we should be cutting the Defense and Justice Department budgets"

    link to previous post (none / 0) (#64)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:45:14 PM EST
    Political Realities (none / 0) (#77)
    by Jack203 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 08:16:16 AM EST
    Republicans care about two things the elite rich and defense spending. (The payroll tax hikes the Republicans favored clearly displayed their policy
    on taxes.  It is only taxes on the rich the Republicans will defend)

    Republicans control congress (and will at least until the next redistricting)

    Congress controls the purse strings

    Therefore the options are either compromise or do nothing.  Obama has chosen to compromise.

    Have no fear though the Republicans will never defy their overlord Groquist and compromise...therefore, nothing will happen.

    More political realities (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:07:52 AM EST
    Cutting the safety net programs were on Obama's agenda when he was on the campaign trail for his first term, cutting the safety net programs were on his agenda when he was President Elect Obama in 2008 and cutting the safety net programs were on his agenda when he had solid majorities in both houses of Congress. Seems that Obama really cares about cutting the safety net programs, raising taxes on the poor and the middle class (chained CPI) and subsequently "reforming the tax code" by reducing corporate taxes from 35% to 28%.

    Another political reality: The Republicans are going to run on the fact that Obama and the Democrats wanted to cut our Social Security and Medicare benefits during their campaigns in 2014. The ads write themselves. For once the Republicans do not need to lie and there are reams of video footage and quotes galore in the written media to use in their ads. They should send Obama a big gift basket along with their Thank You notes.



    You do know that there are absolutely (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:04:00 PM EST
    no cuts to Social Security in Paul Ryan's budget. Zero cuts. His budget also doesn't touch Medicare for a decade.

    Now when Obama comes out with his budget that contains cuts to Social Security and Medicare, who do you think will be accused of wanting to starve granny? Of course these changes also effect veterans. Great ad material there don't you think?

    Then we have the tax increases on the working poor and the middle class that are also the result of the chained CPI.