Krugman, Klein: Dems will cave on Medicare, raise age 2 years, raise taxes only slightly

I just report them. Here’s Krugman (h/t my Twitter friend MiroCollas; my emphasis everywhere):

Ezra Klein says that the shape of a fiscal cliff deal is clear: only a 37 percent rate on top incomes, and a rise in the Medicare eligibility age.

I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that this is just a case of creeping Broderism, that it’s a VSP fantasy about how we’re going to resolve this in a bipartisan way. Because if Obama really does make this deal, there will be hell to pay.

And here’s Klein, from the article Krugman links to:

The fiscal cliff deal comes clearer: a 37% top tax rate and a higher Medicare eligibility age

… The other [negotiating] track includes the offers, counteroffers and red lines proposed by Boehner and President Obama. If you look at these closely, a deal is taking shape.

Recall the core fight on taxes: Republicans say they’re open to more revenue, but they want to find it by closing deductions and loopholes. Democrats say that any deal needs to include more revenue, and they want to find it by letting the George W. Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy, which would mean the top tax rate snaps back up to 39.6 percent.

But what if you do a bit of both? … Talk to smart folks in Washington, and here’s what they think will happen: The final tax deal will raise rates a bit, giving Democrats a win, but not all the way back to 39.6 percent, giving Republicans a win.

About Medicare, Klein writes:

[T]he headline Democratic concession is likely to be that the Medicare eligibility age rises from 65 to 67.

Read the rest of Klein’s article to see why Obama is attracted to this offer. It’s stunning; look for the Jonathan Chait quote.

Grand Betrayal say I, if this is the actual deal. If I were you, I’d be calling some Dems. More here, including links to phone numbers (see point 4). Time to start being part of that “hell to pay” Krugman mentioned above.

GP

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • FunMe

    Your response has got to be one of the BEST description of what will happen. Sad to hear of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Mysko/1269513832 Gregory Mysko

    It will be time to have marches in Washington again. No more screwing around. Giving Obama the benefit of the doubt. That is in the past. We can’t shrug our shoulders and move on. It is time to fight back to both the Democrats and republicans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Mysko/1269513832 Gregory Mysko

    It is time to seriously consider Americans forming a viable grassroots third party. The Democrats have squandered whatever good will they had. And Obama, if he agrees to these capitulations, is a fraud and no different that Romney; We need a political alternative. Now.!

  • http://twitter.com/doodlebug0 Dakota Hates McCain

    The ONLY way Social Security should be touched is by removing the cap. This will make sure the wealthy contribute more to Social Security and extending its solvency for 75+ years.

  • http://twitter.com/doodlebug0 Dakota Hates McCain

    I agree. A deal like this means repugs get the Senate and increase House seats in 2016. I know I’ll stay home. This would be like Democrats bending over, pointing and saying, “Here, stick it right here.”

  • http://twitter.com/doodlebug0 Dakota Hates McCain

    This is unacceptable, period. Pres. Obama campaigned on raising tax rate to Clinton-era rates. Increasing the age of Medicare will save NOTHING. Hopefully, the progressives will stand by those who voted for them and say “Fu*k No!”
    Reugs want to make us another Europe, driving us into recession again. Screw ‘em. Boehner said in 2011 that he got 98% of what he wanted, now he has to eat those words and the Democrats should get 100% of what they want–that’s bipartisanship. What’s good for repugs one year is good for Democrats this year.

  • vonlmo

    “Hell to pay”? What a load of horse-shit. As if anyone is gonna get pissed off about this? What are you gonna do, call for impeachment & a recount of the Nov 4 votes? Get real, you grabbed yer ankles knowingly, you only voted for Obama as you knew he was going to use Crisco while Mitt was going in dry.

  • blue blue state

    To truly talk about a “balanced” sacrifice, we must look at the financial/quality of life impact raising the eligibility age would have on, say, a person with a $50,000 yearly income…and then figure out the tax rate that corresponds to that impact for a one-percenter…because it’s definitely NOT 37 percent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Bogosian/1582309174 Paul Bogosian

    Medicare goes on the table to draw all the fire, and behind it (as quietly as possible) will come those mortgage interest deductions you’ve come to enjoy. Either way, the right wing won’t be happy until there’s a little more middle-class blood on the floor. I just love their argument that raising the top marginal rate to 39% only raises $50B or so. Oh. I guess that since fifty billion is just a small step toward the goal of closing the deficit we’d better not take it. It’s like hitting a single and not bothering to take first because it wasn’t a home run. Clowns.

  • dula

    I didn’t vote for Nader. Gore won that election, he just never bothered to fight for it, like most Democrats. At least I NEVER voted for a dirty Republican. How are you making amends to your nation for helping develop the modern day Neocon?

  • Kenneth C. Fingeret

    Hello Bob Wright,

    People should vote for 3rd parties and not stay home. This sends a message to the “Dumb-O-Crats” that they will become the new Whig party if they “stay the course”.

  • Kenneth C. Fingeret

    Hello Eyeball_Kid,

    We had prosperity during the Dwight David Eisenhower administration. The marginal tax rate was 91%. Lets bring that back.

  • lynchie

    I am going to involve myself in helping the poor, elderly and homeless. A group of my neighbors and I do a dinner at Thanksgiving and Christmas and feed all comers. In terms of politics i plan on doing nothing. The game is rigged. In the words of George Carlin “it is a big club and we are not in it”.

    As far as whining that is your opinion. But when the only thing you can do is in your words whine I plan on pointing out where the zealots miss looking at Obama as far as actions not as what if Romney would have done because that lets him and rest of the Dems off the hook. If we had a strong, principled liberal as President we would all accept that he can’t win all battles but he would have fought. I am sick and tired of his anthem speeches, of his rallying of the Progressives and the left and then doing exactly the opposite when pushed. He has veto power but you would never know it.

  • condew

    Speaking of trolls, I think there are quite a few here today, spreading hate and discontent among Democrats like good little tea party Republicans.

  • condew

    In bad times like these, we should be lowering the age to join Medicare to increase retirements and lower unemployment. I know that if I retire before Medicare kicks in, my private health insurance premiums will take my entire Social Security check.

  • condew

    I know what you mean, Steny Hoyer sure doesn’t give a damn how many letters he gets, his staff can’t even be bothered to figure out which side of an issue you’re on and send the right form letter in response.

  • condew

    It was Obama who made Social Security part of the deficit solution by appointing a “deficit commission” of mostly people on the record as promoting cuts to Social Security. Confirmation of the scam was when that commission also promoted tax cuts; who in their right mind thinks tax cuts are part of the solution to a deficit?

  • condew

    I’d also worry about subtle changes, like altering the cost-of-living increases so that Social Security is quickly inflated into irrelevance, or altering the co-pay formula so that Medicare co-pays eventually consume the bulk of Social Security checks.

  • condew

    And as night follows day, Dems lose big in 2014.

  • caprogressive

    But you… get nothing. That way you’re whining is warranted.

  • condew

    I see, so it is far more important to extend unemployment another few weeks rather than make it impossible for any American without a few million in the bank to ever retire? And do you think those “job creators” will immediately make 2 million jobs as soon as they get what they want?

    As to the payroll tax, damn right it goes back up, playing with the payroll tax and endangering Social Security just as a mechanism to distribute stimulus funds was the dumbest thing Obama ever agreed to; of course we’ll get whining from the so-called advocates for the poor when the rate goes back up; but if Social Security is not kept safe, those working poor will definitely be at the front of the line when it comes to working until you die.

  • caprogressive

    Actually whether you voted for Obama or not in the last election was truly irrelevant. He didn’t need you did he?

  • condew

    So vote for Ralph Nader again if it makes you feel all noble and sh!t; what could go wrong?

  • condew

    I’d say that Gay Liberals got a lot of what they wanted out of this president, maybe they have some lessons to teach so we can save Social Security and Medicare.

  • condew

    False choice.

    How about we raise the rate on all income over $250K to 99%, then give generous deductions for those “job creators” who actually make jobs.

  • condew

    I have often thought to myself, the only thing that could get me to again even consider voting for a Republican is if Democrats fail to protect Social Security and Medicare.

    If the deal looks anything like the betrayal being considered, Obama will be like Clinton and almost guarantee Republicans win big in 2016

  • CaProgressive

    Because pouting always works so much better. Tell that to the former blue states that the gop has taken over, turning them into teabagger test tubes…

  • CaProgressive

    I agree. republicans are whiners as well as losers…. So back to Liberals taking action: what are you going to DO besides whine before anything actually happens?

  • ezpz

    The sad part for us is they don’t care. They have nice cushy lobbying jobs waiting for them as they step out the door. That is, if they want them, because they certainly won’t need them. They will never have to worry about health care for themselves or their families – compliments of the lowly taxpayer. They will never lose their pensions OR the millions they made from insider trading (and safely stashing away offshore) while in Congress. Nope, their ‘service’ in Congress, whether short or long, is just a stepping stone, a means to an end, and that end is being set for life, again, compliments of us.

    ‘We, the people’ have no bargaining chips. I’m done with signing petitions that do nothing. I’m done with contacting my senators and representative, which does nothing other than getting my name on the mailing list and a canned reply. Though I have to say that unsubscribing and giving my explanation for doing so gave me a momentary and very fleeting sense of satisfaction. I’d rather have results, which don’t come from these petitions or calls/emails.

  • lynchie

    and the Republicans are all “I got mine and I want yours too”. As far a whining I have never seen whining like the Repubs after the election. Demanding that the Dems incorporate the broken budget plans of Romney/Ryan. Not accepting the fact that Obama did win, and by 4%. Yeah, whine me a river. Rove spent 300 Million and is still whining. Romney has gone all loon on us and is pumping his own gas trying to get in touch with his inner common man. Ryan couldn’t even win his own state nor could Romney. What fuck ups, what whiners.

  • CaProgressive

    The problem is and has always been that Liberals are all whine and no action..

  • dula

    The “Liberal” Obamabots who spin themselves the most trying to defend him are financially comfortable and won’t be affected by any grand bargain. They perpetrate the lesser of two evils dynamic because in all their cowardice, they expect the economically unstable to martyr themselves so they can carry on with their beautiful lives uninterrupted. They still have too much to lose to promote the chaos of REAL change. Predatory Capitalism was good to them.

  • CaProgressive

    What is your solution? And be specific about what to do with the 2 million unemployed who will lose benefits, the payroll tax going back up etc…

  • CaProgressive

    So keep the Medicare age at 65 and let the 2 million unemployed suck it?

  • AnitaMann

    I don’t remember her saying that Bush would be held accountable (she said impeachment was off the table in the run up to 2006, when the Dems took back control of Congress). My point was, if I have to believe Pelosi or Obama, I’m inclined to believe her, because she at least knows her caucus and knows how to count votes.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I don’t think that there is any chance that Obama will ‘cave’. The problem isn’t him caving, its him using the cover of the crisis to do things he wants to do anyway. Obama won exactly what he wanted in the last round. The GOP cheered but they are the ones with the shitty hand now.

    There is a real risk that Obama actually wants to cut Medicare but I can’t see why he would want to cave on the taxes. So why signal surrender?

    My advice to Obama would be that he should make sure that the GOP House members do something stupid and irrational at the start of his second term so that they get firmly put in their place and the lockstep party discipline is broken.

    In the past week there have been worrying signs that Boehner might cave and give up on the tax cuts for the rich thing so that they can concentrate on the debt ceiling thing which is the only area where he actually has some leverage. The talk of cutting a deal is undercutting Boehner’s attempt at a strategic retreat.

    I think the GOP is stupid enough to fall for it.

  • lynchie

    Just another pill for you Obama lovers to swallow. Thou you might have to take this rectally.

    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/obama-cheaps-out-sandy-recovery-prop-

    So Congress and the President pass a $650 billion defense bill but cut $18 billion from the money needed to recover from the Hurricane that hit the east. Their priorities are that we should have lots of money for bombing the living shit out of people in other countries by depriving Americans of basic elements to survival, like a house or apartment, or fixing infrastructure, or repair after a climate change disaster or Medicare or SS at an age where it means something. The SS and Medicare dismantling is especially vile in that raising the age on Medicare condems a certain number to death. Obamabots don’t give me the shite sandwich of AFA that is for people who have enough money to get a provider to cover them and if they are accepted. Just so none of you all are confused about things let me spell it out.

    It is ok to continue to spend more than the rest of the world combined to defend ourselves (from who?) but not enough for healthcare and retirement benefits for Americans. I get it, I got it, I understand. It is never about us, the 99%. It is about taking money from us and recycling it into the hands of the 1%.

  • lynchie

    They have their money you don’t.

  • lynchie

    your scenario does not hold water since you need the House and Senate to approve any changes to any laws. The President has to sign the bills. As for making him DO anything you have no cards to play. The last card was the election, he knows owes his allegiance to his corporate masters.

  • lynchie

    and cut Welfare.

  • lynchie

    Romney as President is how worse unless the House and Senate propose bills to accomplish your “thousand times” worse scenario he can’t enact or propose legislation. And while we are on that subject why is Obama involved up to his eyeballs in this. The House and Senate proposed and approved the cliff let them negotiate a way through it. Obama can sound off on what he may want to approve but let the solution come to his desk and he gets to sign with 32 pens or vetoes.

  • lynchie

    Well put. You can add that the whole “party”, Gop versus Dem thing is just a scam it is about money. Money flowing to the party and then to their corporate ad agencies, printing companies, polling companies, etc. and let us not forget into their pockets as well. Does anyone really think each and every election campaign is audited? Look at Christine McConnell who we know took money from her own campaign as living expenses===silence. The two parties are big business. The election just past cost a billion dollars. How many companies have an operation budget of a billion dollars?
    The two parties realized a long time ago that its a game. The Dems get power for a few years, then the Repubs. But the flow of money to the parties is unabated since it goes back into the economy of the contributors. That’s why Wall Street and the Banks were bailed out and no one went to jail—you don’t want to stop the river of cash.That is why there will never be significant cuts to the military–you don’t want to stop the river of cash.

    There will be no balanced budget there is no need to have one. No one in Washington is accountable if they have a deficit but we the people are because they will without a moment’s hesitation cut any programs (SS, Medicare, Medicade, Welfare, UI bedefits, school lunches, Pell grants) to make us think they care and these are always easy to cut because they don’t influence the flow of money. It is just us peasants who will be concerned and might raise a few signs, have a rally, phone a few office (but you only get to talk to some intern who doesn’t know shit).

    Having a system of Democracy where there are no real differences between the parties and no way of ousting those not representing us is part of the scam. You can’t have a vote of non-confidence, oh yeah, you can try to impeach but that has no real merit.
    Get over your outrage at Obama and Congress doing exactly what their master’s want and spend time trying to live your life and enjoy your family with the little they let us have.

  • lynchie

    The reason is plain because their corporate owners would not like that. It is ok to make 98% suffer and be afraid of the horrible things that will happen if we go over the fucking cliff but their will be no bluff calling on their dime.

  • lynchie

    In the end she, like the rest, don’t give a shit about us. They have their pension, their health care, their offshore accounts courtesy of the lobbyists and corporate owners. The theater played out on tv is just for us rubes. The “we really care but we don;t want to go off the cliff” bullshit. They voted for it the Dems and Repubs put this bitter pill in the legislation which approved the extension of the tax cuts.

    Is there not one politician who will stand up and take a stand for the rest of America. Raising the Medicare age accomplishes what exactly? No one ever asks. Increase the payroll tax on Medicare by a few bucks more per person (and company). Raise the limit on SS as well that solves the issue of these programs and didn’t require more that 20 seconds of my piss power brain power to come up with. All the ruminations, hand wringing and whining is for the theater. It is another cosmetic fix of the problem of corporate greed, corporate welfare and the inability of our elected Congress to do their job for Americans.

    While I am ranting would someone tell America that Obama just signs spending bills, Congress prepares them, the Senate and House prepare them and they go to him for approval. Also tell Obama he is the final arbitrator for the country. We all elected him he represents all of us not just some narrow district but the whole country and if he sells out he sells out all of us. Each and every poor, homeless, elderly, going to bed hungry child, chronically unemployed, foreclosed upon, incarcerated, underemployed, corporate victimized, fucked over American who voted for his sorry ass.

  • sophie

    Obviously, none of the assholes supporting Mittens is female.
    The Repugs are currently, and have been universally the party promoting the war against the reproductive rights of women–but of course, none of THAT “stuff” is important on this blog.
    Mittens/Ryan would have been a disaster for women in this country–and I did not see any support for LGBT rights, come to think of it, from any corner of the Mittens/Ryan party- of- greed platform. Or did some of you forget to read it?
    Obama is not a liberal– he’s sure as hell is not my idea of a progressive Dem. I think we need to MAKE HIM DO what needs to be done–as Roosevelt challenged Americans a long time ago.
    Hold his feet to the fire. Bitching about “Romney vs. Obama” is simply a waste of time.

  • Eyeball_Kid

    For all of the raving about the Clinton years, it was Bubba who signed the Telecommunications bill and NAFTA.

  • Eyeball_Kid

    Obama may again prove himself to be a poor negotiator by NOT asserting that the marginal tax rate ought not to be reinstalled at 39.6%, but instead should be at 50% for incomes above 250k, and to hell with the Clinton years. Justifications for this kind of increase are cheaper than lettuce soup. Speech writers would have a heyday. Then Obama could negotiate downward to 45-42%, and still get a great deal. Instead, Obama is again caught negotiating with himself by starting out with a limp proposal and negotiating toward impotence.

  • A reader in Colorado

    You’re right. But we know the bluff is NOT going to be called, don’t we? And why is that?

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    The grenade is a dud, anyway. With a year to solve things before the bulk of the cuts go into effect, anyway, I don’t really think any serious bad is going to come from it… and as I said, we’re going to get a lot of good things as a result, too.

    Calling the GOP bluff is all win, and they know it. Any deal where we give up a single solitary thing, never mind this crap fest rumored now, is another example of ‘bargaining with ourselves.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.wright.7374480 Bob Wright

    If the Democrats don’t want a repeat in 2014 as to what happen in 2010, then they better not lower the top tax rate below 39.6% or raise the retirement age, otherwise voters will be very up set and stay at home once more as they did in 2010.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    She’s tended to be the progressives’ beard in this stuff. Early on, she said there’d be no health insurance reform without a public option. She also said the Dems would hold firm on not extending the Bush tax cuts two years ago. And for all her talk about holding the Bush administration accountable for its manifest and multiple war crimes, the first thing she did when the Dems were in the House majority in 2008 was to quash all investigations and any talk of impeachment.

    She is not to be trusted.

  • AnitaMann

    Didn’t Pelosi just say there would be no change to Medicare? If she’s not behind this grand bargain, it ain’t happening. I think this is a trial balloon

  • A reader in Colorado

    I agree. Let the Republicans hold the grenade, hold their breath until they turn blue, and threaten to blow up the country. Let them pull the pin, if they will. Let them let go of the handle, even, if they will.

    Look – this is a sham. All of this sturm and drang is to take more money away from grandma while the rich get by as unscathed as possible. While the massive sucking machine that is the U.S. Department of Defense gets by with no sacrifice, nor any of its war profiteer contractors.

    If the Republicans want to blow up the country to save the wealthy and war profiteers – LET THEM. It will destroy them and their entire party for generations.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Agreed. The fix is in.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    2014: Dems are swept out of office. Hippies are blamed and punched. Senior citizens die younger from lack of health care. Rich people get richer anyway, even if their marginal regular income tax rate goes up a piddling 2% because most of ‘em are collecting income from capital gains, which continues to be taxed at just 15%.

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    Just fall off the ‘cliff.’ The loaded term is only designed to create a manufactured crisis. It really won’t be that bad at all, and there’s a full year between the ‘fiscal cliff’ being triggered and when most of the spending cuts would start to take effect.

    In the meantime, we get Clinton era tax rates, plenty of powder in the keg to go after Republicans for tax cuts for the 98%, and legitimate cuts to military spending that we would never have otherwise seen.

    It’s kind of a win.

  • usckitty

    We can add STEP SEVEN: Come 2014, the GOP runs ads saying that the Democrats raised the Medicare eligibility age, and Dems lose the Senate and more seats in the House in a GOP wave…Progressives are then blamed for staying home…

  • dula

    Glenn Greenwald http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/07/obama-progressives-left-entitlements:

    STEP ONE: Liberals will declare that cutting social security and Medicare benefits – including raising the eligibility age or introducing “means-testing” – are absolutely unacceptable, that they will never support any bill that does so no matter what other provisions it contains, that they will wage war on Democrats if they try.

    STEP TWO: As the deal gets negotiated and takes shape, progressive pundits in Washington, with Obama officials persuasively whispering in their ear, will begin to argue that the proposed cuts are really not that bad, that they are modest and acceptable, that they are even necessary to save the programs from greater cuts or even dismantlement.

    STEP THREE: Many progressives – ones who are not persuaded that these cuts are less than draconian or defensible on the merits – will nonetheless begin to view them with resignation and acquiescence on pragmatic grounds. Obama has no real choice, they will insist, because he must reach a deal with the crazy, evil GOP to save the economy from crippling harm, and the only way he can do so is by agreeing to entitlement cuts. It is a pragmatic necessity, they will insist, and anyone who refuses to support it is being a purist, unreasonably blind to political realities, recklessly willing to blow up Obama’s second term before it even begins.

    STEP FOUR: The few liberal holdouts, who continue to vehemently oppose any bill that cuts social security and Medicare, will be isolated and marginalized, excluded from the key meetings where these matters are being negotiated, confined to a few MSNBC appearances where they explain their inconsequential opposition.

    STEP FIVE: Once a deal is announced, and everyone from Obama to Harry Reid and the DNC are behind it, any progressives still vocally angry about it and insisting on its defeat will be castigated as ideologues and purists, compared to the Tea Party for their refusal to compromise, and scorned (by compliant progressives) as fringe Far Left malcontents.

    STEP SIX: Once the deal is enacted with bipartisan support and Obama signs it in a ceremony, standing in front of his new Treasury Secretary, the supreme corporatist Erskine Bowles, where he touts the virtues of bipartisanship and making “tough choices”, any progressives still complaining will be told that it is time to move on. Any who do not will be constantly reminded that there is an Extremely Important Election coming – the 2014 midterm – where it will be Absolutely Vital that Democrats hold onto the Senate and that they take over the House. Any progressive, still infuriated by cuts to social security and Medicare, who still refuses to get meekly in line behind the Party will be told that they are jeopardizing the Party’s chances for winning that Vital Election and – as a result of their opposition – are helping Mitch McConnell take over control of the Senate and John Boehner retain control of the House.

  • A_nonymoose

    Personally, I’m waiting until speculation becomes reality before my head explodes.

  • usckitty

    Clever trap by the GOP…they get what they want out of Medicare AND get to blame the Dems in 2014…guess who’ll have hell to pay and guess which party will be laughing all the way to the majority?

    and the talking points from GOP representatives like Tom Cole saying that both parties would have done entitlement reform so there won’t be political blowback is just laughable considering the GOP noise machine which can’t wait to blame the Democratic Party for raising the Medicare eligibility age…

  • Corey

    “Dems will cave” ….. thats a given.

  • trayNTP

    What those like you (ScootFla) have apparently never gotten is that Obama is irrelevant. YOU, are relevant. What part of “we’re the leaders we’ve been waiting for” don’t some of you get? We don’t elect LEADERS in this country, we elect “REPRESENTATIVES”, and the President should be considered chief among the “REPRESENTATIVES”. Until you demand that they represent us, and quit deferring, you’ll keep getting p*ssed on. Giving Obama the benefit of the doubt as he “DEALS AWAY” more and more of the social safety net just because you “like him” is the height of stupidity. You’re ceding more power to them all than they should be considered to have. People like you are the main problem, and have always been.

  • Guest

    If that’s the deal, it’s stupid. It’s one of those simple-minded ideas that sounds good to people who don’t think. The result is likely to be the exact opposite of what’s intended: greater government spending on healthcare generally and higher Medicare premiums for those in the system. If you raise the eligibility age by two years, you strip off the generally healthiest tranche of Medicare participants, who, on the whole, are probably paying more into the system than they’re drawing out. So, right there, the rates on the older cohort that uses more services will inevitably go up. And tthe 65-66 year olds who are cast off who don’t have jobs or sufficient income to pay their medical bills will be thrown into the Affordable Care Act. The proposal is just moving the deck chairs on the Titanic, and it’s worse, because it just makes the ship take on more water.

  • trayNTP

    Is he, if he is the more effective evil? (http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/7/effective_evil_or_progressives_best_hope). A lot of things would have less of a chance of being implemented if a Republican was President. It’s not like Obama’s going to “veto” anything he’s INSERTED HIMSELF INTO THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS to decide should be.

    If a Republican was President right now, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats would have more power over decisions, and it would probably be a more normal legislative process, with the House and Senate compromising instead of the “President & Speaker”. You have no idea how much the latter infuriates me.

    Let Congress be Congress!

  • A reader in Colorado

    Hateful? About what? No. I’m a critic. And to criticize after something happens is too late.

    “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”

  • vonlmo

    Keep calm & remind yourself that the reason you voted for Obama was that he was the lesser of the two evils.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Give up on Obama?

    Maybe you didn’t notice, the election’s over. Obama won. The things he promised, owed. This is not some kind of religious figure, to ooh and aah over. Things are requested and required.

  • ScootFla

    And you do? How do you know? You’re just making hateful comments online and making wild accusations about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Stop approving of your great one when he does the wrong thing. That might be a start. And Romney wouldn’t have his way – that’s the point.

    When Obama gets done, he might have done more terrible damage than any Republican, by sheer prostration of his followers.

    My alternative is to kick people out, whatever their party, when they’re not performing and working for the other side.

  • A reader in Colorado

    You have no idea what people are doing or not doing.

  • trayNTP

    Again, two things: First, the “fiscal cliff” is a “fiscal bluff” to begin with. They could just let all of the tax cuts expire, and then if they wanted to reissue tax cuts for the middle & lower classes, they could at the start of the next Congress. The ***ONLY*** reason we’re having this fake crisis is so they can come up with an excuse to give something to the wealthy and steal yet more from the rest of us. If they let them all expire, the next round of debate would not include any concessions for the rich, the class which the President and nearly every member of Congress belongs to, and all of their top donors belong to. They need to scare regular people in order to justify giving the richest people something.

    Second, I don’t care if Obama’s the President and Boehner’s the Speaker of the House, Barack Obama needs to get back in his lane, which means he needs to get out of Congress’ way and let House and Senate Dems do what they should be doing, which isn’t just doing whatever their right-wing President prefers. Obama is as worse as a Blue Dog Democrat on these tax & spend issues, so of course he wants to INSERT his right-leaning terms into the process, making members of his own part appear to be the “unreasonable” ones if they object, which they should. This “DEAL” ideology is a scheme, and has always been one. How many “DEALS” did the Bush White House make with Pelosi when she was Speaker? Obama trying to dominate and intimidate the Democratic caucus is so “TOP-DOWNISH”, he may as well wear a micromanaging/dictator pin on his lapel.

    Or maybe that’s what the Democrats want. For Obama to give them an excuse to do these things. Either way, it’s time for liberals/progressives to wise up to the scheme. These “CRISES” that always want to link regular people’s security to rich people’s demands are “ALL CONTRIVED” and there is no reason WHATSOEVER for anyone to be accepting that “Obama & Boehner” should be the ones doing the deciding. What kind of conservative paradigm is that nonsense?

  • ScootFla

    Is it right to be pesimistic and cynical, whining about everything you don’t like while doing nothing to change it? I’ve tried for years to make a change and have been politically active in a red county in Florida and it doesn’t really ever work because there’s nobody else doing anything. If there were as many people out on the streets actually trying to do something rather than spending their time online writing paragraphs in how they hate, hate, hate…well actually it would be better if these people weren’t out on the streets.

  • Phil Perspective

    How is Krgthulu going overboard? He’s just giving his opinion on what Ezra “David Broder, Jr.” Klein posted.

  • ScootFla

    I haven’t seen Obama do that yet (not on a grand scale). He’s a thousand times better than Romney because everyone in the middle class and poor would be in debtors prison if Romney had his way in fixing the national deficit. So that’s a thousand times better than Romney.

    Again, I’m all for an alternative. What is it?

  • ScootFla

    Maybe we’re not losers and we just want something to believe in? If we give up on Obama, then the Republicans consider that as a win for them. I’d love to have something else to root for, but what?

  • A reader in Colorado

    Careful, you’re going to thousand-times-better-Romney the poor right into the effing streets.

  • nicho

    Yup, better than Romney — and still bad for the middle class. Complete sell-out. What a loser — as are all the people who still defend him.

  • A reader in Colorado

    No, no no! It’s after the election! What the Obomatons told you – that was LAST Month.

    Now is the time you Have To Know That Obama Was Always a Centrist. And that You Want A Pony, and Are Not Pragmatic Enough.

    And this month, if you believed Obama would be a flaming liberal, you are a naive fool, whereas last month you were a troll for not believing it.

    Gotta remember the month.

  • ScootFla

    But, but, but no matter what “Barry” does for America, you have to agree it’s 1000 times better than what Romney was going to do.

    And I don’t know what Barrybots you or who you consider “us” are referring to because I don’t remember any promises where President Obama was going to become a “flaming liberal”. You must have been reading that from freerepublic or some other conservative sites as they were trying to scare other conservatives with terms like “flaming liberal”., President Obama is never going to be a true liberal/progressive. Still a 1000 times better than Romney though.

  • ScootFla

    Calling our representatives doesn’t help. Been there done that dozens of times over the years (calling and emailing Senator Bill Nelson’s office for the most part) and all you get is either a “We certainly value your opinion!” or a “We’re going to do what’s best for our constituents and for the country”. And since the election is already over with, the reps aides don’t really see a concern in taking down your concerns in the first place.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Raises in eligibility ages for things like Medicare is functionally equivalent to sending people to their deaths. Overboard?

  • SkippyFlipjack

    As many have pointed out: Raising the Medicare age doesn’t save much money, it just kicks the cheapest (read: healthiest) participants out of the system. These kinds of tweaks should be the product of a committee tasked just with streamlining Medicare, not back-room deals over unrelated issues. Good thing Democrats held all the leverage, if not they might have thrown in the addition of Reagan to Mt. Rushmore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001426939279 Carl Kerstann

    Krugman has a record of going a little overboard. I think it’s his way of trying to motivate people to get involved and start calling the congress critters.

  • nicho

    But, but, but Barry was going to become a flaming liberal once he got back in office. I know because I read it online. The Barrybots promised us.

  • Unkawillbur

    Well, this site was an embarrassingly vocal cheerleader for these very politicians, so, own it. They’re “your team”.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Kick all Dems out of office. ALL OF THEM, if they pass this.

  • Naja pallida

    If that’s even remotely close to the deal, the Democrats might as well just give up their seats in Congress now, because it will be a bloodbath in 2014… but it isn’t like this is unexpected. Obama basically ran on it, and Democrats in Congress are too spineless and/or collusive to prevent it.

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