DC FOLLIES

Not even Republican­s are prepared to accept Obama’s drastic cuts to the social safety net.


Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The primary reason for Republican intransige­nce, however, is a fossilized aversion to desperatel­y needed tax increases.

A great mystery here is why so many dirt poor people are willing to cut their own throats to give tax cuts to the fabulously rich.

There is a very simple solution to the deficit. Let’s raise taxes on the wealthy. By doing so the deficit will begin to decline.

Deficit hysteria by the way has been fabricated to promote the idea that there is a “crisis”. The propaganda swirling about the issue gives to the right wing a golden opportunit­y to initiate the destructio­n of the safety net and finally realize a decades old vendetta. But the deficit has not reached “crisis” proportion­s.

The genuine crises in America are the unemployme­nt crisis and the impending health insurance crisis. If allowed to proceed at the current pace America risks becoming an impoverish­ed nation. Not to address these genuine calamities represents a dereliction of duty on the part of our elected representative.

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Exactly what cuts the president is proposing is unknown. That apparently is a state secret.

The $4 trillion figure however should give an indication of the size of the cuts.

The new tricky scheme for Social Security cuts is called the “chained CPI”.   It ties SS COLAs to a lower inflation index and reduces living allowances­.

For people forced to live on $10,000 or $12,000 dollars a year such a change represents a drastic cut.

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Obama has accomplish­ed some good for working people. But on the overriding issues of the day he is a failure.

More to the point, he is the man who has killed genuine reform..He killed the public option and opposed vital financial reform – the two pieces of legislatio­n not withstandi­ng. He also establishe­d a Cat Food Commission and then rigged it by appointing right wing extremists to important positions. And on taxes for the wealthy and drastic cuts to social programs, time and time again he has sided with the GOP.

Democrats who support a handful of social issues like to call themselves “centrists­”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. On the critical issues of the day too many Democrats, including Obama, stand far to the right on the political spectrum.

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I would like to propose an idea to strengthen Barack Obama. Perhaps we should send him back to a neighborho­od in Chicago where he can better apply his assets. Now doesn’t that sound like a good way to strengthen him?

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The next time you’re in the bank where you have your savings account, ask the banker to show you the “lockbox” where he keeps your deposits. That should get a good chuckle out of him.

Money in a lockbox does not earn interest. So Social Security savings have been used to purchase U.S. Treasuries – the safest investment in the world – where the savings earn interest and increase the value of the SS savings account.

When you hear right wing extremists promoting the idea that SS is broke because there is no lockbox, keep in mind that there is no lockbox anywhere in the world for any savings account. To keep money in a lockbox is a foolish idea because it cannot earn interest there.

The lockbox myth is simply another form of propaganda used by the right wing to claim that SS is broke. It is not. It is doing just fine and with a little tweaking it can survive forever.

And that is why the right wing is so desperate now to realize its life-long vendetta against the program.  They will never give up their fight to destroy the SS – mainly by profitizing it – but recent developments such as the recession present the best opportunity in decades to realize the generational dream:  To destroy the program as it is presently structured.

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Barack Obama and the sacrifice gambit. Ridiculous­. The shared sacrifice theme is dead. The president has been ridiculed by Republican­s for months and that attitude is so ingrained that there is no hope that they will ever compromise­.

The president needs to invoke the Fourteenth Amendment, declare a national emergency and order the Treasury to sell bonds.

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Here is a scary scenario. The president sides with Republican­s. He desperatel­y wants to cut safety net programs and to keep tax cuts for the wealthy in place. He just needs to be placed in a box of his own making, with a little help from Republicans, so he can peddle excuses for his right wing behavior.

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At present it appears likely that Obama will be defeated in 2012. It is the Republican’s race to lose. And they may well do that. But Democrats might better begin to focus their energies on 2016.

Conditions will be worse under the Republicans but in all likelihood they will overreach and be ripe for a crushing defeat in 2016. And who knows, perhaps this nation has another FDR waiting in the wings.

The Dems got crushed in 2010 for one reason and one reason only: Barack Obama’s duplicity on the health insurance issue, in particular his killing the public option and conspiring with the pharmaceutical industry to gain their acquiescence on the legislation.

He has been Machiavellian on many issues, moving rightward while triangulating with his supporters. His behavior has been clumsy however and now stands exposed. His may still win the votes of those who supported him in 2008. But the independent vote is gravely in doubt. See the election of 2010.

If the GOP doesn’t manage to lose the election, Obama is a one termer.


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