I'm not at all surprised by this latest move towards throwing the old and sick under the bus, but I am deeply disappointed.

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

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

Rare consensus my a$$. Will anyone have the chutzpah to stop the insanity of this administration drinking the TEA/GOP's toxic kool-aid?

Tess's picture

This does not surprise me

Instead of cutting some of our wars, or requiring a fair tax share from the wealthy and from big corporations, our Goldman Sachs directed economic team has gone after the middle class once again.

Obama is proving to be a disaster for working folks.

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Obomber the Republican

So it turns out that Barry wasn't a closeted Muslim terrorist; he was a closeted Republican enemy of the working class.

I'm deeply sorry that I voted for this jerk. I won't make the same mistake again.

The Dems have decided to do whatever the Reps want, and more. The Reps wanted to cut Medicare, so Barry counters by offering to cut both Medicare AND Social Security. These cuts might be "balanced" by cutting billionares' taxes by a bit less than the Reps wanted.

So why bother to vote for any Democrat, ever again?

bizgrrl's picture

Maybe these ideas are a

Maybe these ideas are a result of his tweet-up. :)

We have to stand-up and ask for details. We must work to prevent changes to medicare and social security. They need to study U.S. history.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

The word of the day is...


Let's elect a President who says right from the get go that he is going to strive to please both sides, then freak out when he does that. Yes, one side is unpleasable and have made it clear that they are willing to drive the entire country off a bridge to get this President out of office. Still, Obama is not doing anything different than the entire freaking Democratic party. Elected Democrats are acting like codependent exes. "Why don't you like us? We'll do anything for you. We'll cut off our own feet if it makes you happy." "Whatever. We're going to destroy public education to get him out of office AND put you hoi polloi back in your rightful place as our indentured servitude."

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Time for a primary challenge to Obomber

It's time for Barry to be primaried, along with any other Dem who supports this epic cave.

CE Petro's picture

Ignore the man behind the curtain

In afternoon news, the WH tried "pushing back" against the report on cutting SS and Medicare, but not really.

"The story overshoots the runway," said a senior administration official. "The President said in the State of the Union that he wanted a bipartisan process to strengthen Social Security in a balanced way that preserves the promise of the program and doesn't slash benefits."

"While it is definitely not a driver of the deficit," the official added, "it does need to be strengthened."

As Sam Stein writes, the devil is in the details, and as there are no details (as of this writing) I can only tell you my gut feeling and that is, this is the beginning of the end of SS as we know it.

Jane doesn't disagree, and actually goes further:

What we’re watching is the death of the Democratic Party. Or, at least the Democratic Party as most of us have known it. The one that has taken its identity in the modern era from FDR and the New Deal, from Keynsianism and the social safety net. Despite any of its other shortcomings (and they are myriad), the Democratic Party has stood as a symbol for commitment to these principles. As recently as 2006, Democrats took over the House in a surprise wave election because the public feared that George Bush would destroy Social Security, and they trusted the Democrats over Republicans to secure it. Just like George Bush, Obama now wants to “save” Social Security….by giving those who want to burn it to the ground the the very thing they’ve wanted for decades.

Any member of any party who participates in this effort does not deserve, and should not get, the support of anyone who values Social Security and cares about its preservation. The amount of damage that the Democrats under Obama have been able to do has been immeasurable, by virtue of the fact that they are less awful that George Bush. But where George Bush failed, Obama will probably succeed.

Which means we’re watching another casualty here: Democracy. Or at least, the illusion that we live in a democratic society. The public, regardless of party, overwhelmingly opposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare. But elected officials of both parties are hell-bent on conspiring to bring the programs to an end. They seem to have come to grips with a fact that the public has not: their tenure in office depends on carrying out the wishes of oligarchical elites.

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Barry just made himself a one-termer

And the Dems in the Senate can kiss their majority goodbye. The Democratic Party has just committed suicide. The Republicans can now run to the Dems' LEFT in the next campaign.

Factchecker's picture

The Republicans can now run

The Republicans can now run to the Dems' LEFT in the next campaign.

That's a bit of an exaggeration. I felt the same sense of anger/betrayal when Obama caved on extending the supposedly temporary Bush taxes cuts tilted for the wealthy, but now I'm not so sure he was wrong given the options in front of him at the time. The world is a complicated place and bein' pRez'nint is Hard Work!, as we learned from a previous occupant.

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Not an exaggeration at all

The Republicans gained their majority in the House in 2010 by running to Obama's left, saying ObamaCare had cut Medicare. In fact, the cuts were to Medicare Advantage programs, which are costly private insurance plans funded by Medicare.

Now that Obama is proposing REAL cuts in both Medicare and Social Security, more than the Republicans even asked for, the Reps can crack open the bubbly. Happy days are here again--for them.

EricLykins's picture

Drew Westen: Three Ways

Drew Westen: Three Ways Democrats Could Choose to Lose in 2012, and What They Can Do to Avoid It

The third way Democrats could choose to lose faster than you can say "screw your mother" (not in the Freudian sense) is to participate with Republicans in cutting Medicare. In the four decades since Democrats created Medicare -- over the fierce objections and cries of "socialism!" from the GOP (and from none other than Ronald Reagan, who predicted that giving our parents and grandparents security in their old age would be the beginning of a totalitarian state) -- the Republicans have been relentless in their efforts to gut it. Paul Ryan's proposal to hand the average senior, who lives on $15,000-$20,000 a year, a voucher for $6000 and say, "Good luck, old lady, find yourself a health care plan!" is just the latest (and politically least savvy) of those efforts.

Yet Democrats seem to have remarkably short memories (all the more reason to maintain Medicare and Medicaid coverage, at least for dementia). Just last year, after Democrats passed a health care law that cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare (over the objections of House Democrats, who would instead have had the wealthiest Americans pick up the tab for subsidizing health care for workers their friends pay too poorly to afford it), Republicans all over the country demagogued the issue and ran against Democrats for "trying to take away your Medicare." With 40% of the voting population over 55, that was a very potent attack, which figured prominently in Republican attack ads, and played a substantial role in producing the "shellacking" Democrats took in the 2010 election.

That should not endear Democrats to Republicans on this issue. Yet unbelievably, after the Republicans just handed the keys to the House and Senate back to the Democrats by voting with virtual unanimity for Ryan's plan in both houses of Congress -- a plan that is wildly unpopular with even Republicans, who, as it happens, turn 65 with the same regularity as Democrats -- the President and Senate Democrats have signaled a willingness to join with the Republicans in cutting Medicare again (which will no doubt be a sine qua non for Republicans' willingness to raise the debt ceiling). As Mitch McConnell put it Sunday morning on This Week, "We know that the Democrats are willing to reduce Medicare. Obamacare cut Medicare about half trillion dollars. The president himself just a month or so ago in a speech about what he would do mentioned an additional half a trillion dollars in Medicare reductions. We know the Democrats are willing to reduce Medicare expenditures. That's something that can actually pass the Congress."

If that's something that could actually pass Congress, the next Congress will be a Republican Congress.

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