Obama finally admits cuts to Medicare, Social Security are on the table

Update: New coalition whip-count page here. Lists the good, wavering, and bad senators, with links.
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Obama finally did it. In an interview with ABC and Barbara Walters, President Obama admitted that Medicare and Social Security cuts are on the table.  The following text is from the ABC News write-up, with my emphasis and paragraphing:

Boehner and House Republicans have proposed curbing the rate of increase for Social Security payments and raising the eligibility age for Medicare, among other changes, which are non-starters for many Obama supporters. In his interview with Walters, the president hinted at new flexibility on entitlement spending cuts, but only once Republicans concede on top tax rates.

“If the Republicans can move on that [taxes] then we are prepared to do some tough things on the spending side,” Obama said. “Taxes are going to go up one way or another. And I think the key is that taxes go up on high-end individuals.”

Raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 is “something that’s been floated,” Obama said, not dismissing the idea outright.

“When you look at the evidence, it’s not clear that it actually saves a lot of money,” he said. “But what I’ve said is let’s look at every avenue, because what is true is we need to strengthen Social Security, we need to strengthen Medicare for future generations, the current path is not sustainable because we’ve got an aging population and health care costs are shooting up so quickly.”

As we’ve said all along, cuts to the safety net are on the table in the Obama-Boehner negotiations — for both sides. And this confirms it.

Bottom line — he wants it. He just doesn’t want to get killed — by us or other Democrats — for doing it.

Raising the Medicare eligibility age is backdoor privatization

I’ve made that argument here, and I’m not alone. Now we find this, from Matt Yglesias (again, my emphasis):

medicare social security elderly couple

Couple via Shutterstock

Conservatives Want To Raise The Medicare Eligibity Threshhold To Make It Easier To End Medicare

… Peter Suderman at Reason [a longtime conservative magazine] has a good account of why conservatives might think a minor tweak in the number of people who qualify for Medicare is a helpful step on the road to privatization:

The most important likely effect is political. Reforming Medicare is difficult in part because of resistance by beneficiaries, who hold a lot of political influence … Diminishing the size of the beneficiary class is likely to diminish resistance to further change, and while it’s not enough, it might ultimately make reform easier.

Basically the idea is that if we reduce the number of people who get Medicare we leave the remaining Medicare with a smaller coalition behind it. Basically you’ve got a new version of Newt Gingrich’s old concept that instead of repealing Medicare outright you create a situation in which “it’s going to wither on the vine” and die.

Now there are two more reasons why you don’t want to raise the eligibility age — it puts Medicare people into Obamacare’s private insurance pool, and as noted above, it shrinks the size of the remaining recipients — who will then have a smaller voice when they complain. Not to mention it saves no money and, yes, will kill some people.

Mr. Obama, this is all on you, if you do this.

Takeaways

We’re moving past the middle of the game. Obama is out. Here are my takeaways:

1. Game on. Obama is now in the open, speaking in his own voice and not through presumed surrogates. Time to let him own it and blast him for it. White House phone numbers here. Further action opportunities here.

2. ABC News is in on the sell. The first phrase of the first sentence of the ABC News report is this one:

As the clock ticks toward a tax hike on all Americans in 20 days…

This framing says that your taxes are in the cross-hairs (so be very afraid). In fact, your taxes will stay the same under any strategy Obama takes — this one, or the one where he lets them all go up on December 31, then brings them back down for you in January.

The difference is this — if he negotiates for tax rates now, he gets to raise them less for billionaires (his real base) than if the full Clinton top marginal rate (39.6%) kicks in automatically. See here for more on how that works. Ezra Klein thinks the Obama-negotiated top rate could be closer to 37%. Today’s top marginal rate is 35%.

3. Time to focus on the Senate. Democrats control the Senate, and Obama can’t sign what the Senate won’t pass.

There are Senate-specific instructions here, including lists of Democrats who signed the Sanders letter, and Democrats who didn’t. That web page includes all Dem Senate phone numbers plus a report-back email address (lameduck@socialsecurityworks.org). Please call early and often, and please report back.

Update: New coalition Senate whip-count page here, with links.

Each of those senators should be pinged daily. Your message: It’s the right thing to do. And Democrats will go down heavy in 2014 if the party allows this. Remember, this is not about Obama; it’s about the future of the whole party. And you can say that — some of these folks are seriously bubbled by big money donors and that rarified DC air.

The “good ones” need to be helped to stay good, and the “bad ones” need to hear from you and not just their lobbyist friends. Again, let them all know that the party will suffer if the party allows this.

For example, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) — (202) 224-3553 — is a signer, but Twitter friend nignog63 made the call to her office and reports “no clear position on raising the Medicare eligibility age”. Care to confirm that?

Some of these people are sincerely principled; many more are just careerists — they care about their jobs and their Senatorial bennies. I’d make part of the argument along the “loss of job”  lines.

As I said last time, it’s not over. But it’s heating up. Obama outing himself means (a) he knows it’s toxic, and (b) we’re nearing the endgame. Let’s not lose our focus. He’s not losing his.

Courage,

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


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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  • Rhonda clark

    We are paying 30 billion dollors a year for illigals health care we pay billions for other things we are really slaves utube AFRICIAN DANCES FOR EPT CARD) the illigals have invaded us and voted for obama twice hacked computeres yes they need to be taken care of the people who dont work is bleading us dry this is now mexicio and black americia stealing our jobs stealling our future stealing every thing we worked for there go to page seems like a good idea to me CIVIAL WAR2013USA0

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.anderson.1069 David Anderson

    The guy flip flops as much as Romney does. Im gonna try and give you national healthcare! Lol! JK! Time to take away benifits!

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.anderson.1069 David Anderson

    aaaaaaaaaaaaand I am reminded why I belong to the green party. Theres a whole oversized military that we keep pouring usless money into you wingnut!

  • GaiusPublius

    Yep. Agree. Thanks, Ford.

    GP

  • Ford Prefect

    Fair enough. And while I think it’s probably too early to enjoy any confidence about “pressuring from within,” this story that just popped up about Susan Rice withdrawing her nomination to Sec of State might confirm your position. Or at least, I hope it does, because if she withdrew because of lefty criticism over her involvement with genocidal people in Africa, that would be a nice thing. I don’t see Benghazi as a factor here, since it’s a largely phony issue to begin with.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/12/13-9

  • GaiusPublius

    The plan is not to save the Democratic Party, the plan is to use the Democratic Party.

    That’s the angle many of us are taking, and there are a lot of people with real contacts who are doing it. That’s all I can say — it’s what some of us are doing. Witness this latest fight, in which the other side (Obama) is backing down, then coming back with another bad trial balloon, then backing down. We’re making them back down, and it’s pressure from both the inside and the outside that’s doing it.

    A loss in the lame duck is not a given this time, and the reason is tons of pressure from the outside on both Obama and on insiders. The insiders are thus also pressing Obama — some because they believe like we do, and some because we’re pushing them hard and threatening them wit something they don’t want to lose. (See my two Effective Progressive Coalitions pieces for more.)

    Here’s hoping. It’s the sword we have for the battle that’s in front of us.

    Thanks for the thoughts, Ford, and the conversation. Appreciate it.

    GP

  • Ford Prefect

    I agree that “anything that works for our side is a good thing.” No question.

    I don’t understand your reference to attacking someone for “not doing what I would do.” This isn’t personal. It’s about an institution. Personalities don’t matter very much in that respect. Perhaps you’re referring to my remarks about Trumka. Fair enough, but I was simply using him as an example, not the entire focus of the problem. As an individual, I’m not convinced he actually matters all that much.

    In terms of political strategy, one that doesn’t deal with the institutional barriers to progress isn’t a strategy at all, IMO. This is the one question I’ve yet to see answered by those who think the Democratic Party is somehow “saveable” (quotes because I’m not sure if that’s a good way of putting it.). “Our” problems don’t boil down to one or several personalities as much as the institution itself and the barriers put up to prevent democracy from taking place within the Party itself. Thus far, I have yet to see any real proposed solutions to the institutional issues. How does one combat the billionaires who now essentially “own” the Party, with all the tools of repression at their disposal?

  • GaiusPublius

    Understood. Let’s just see how it goes. My suggestion, anything that works for our side is a good thing, and anyone being active on our side — even if they’re not doing what I would do — is also a good thing.

    The one thing that’s anathema for me personally — as in, I won’t do it — is to attack someone on our side for not doing what I would do. That’s not just a personal preference — though it is that — I think it’s one of our tragic weaknesses, and I’ve decided explicitly I won’t contribute to it. More than anything else IMO, this is what divides us.

    That said, I wish anyone success who tries anything that works. Who knows, maybe freeway blogging will be the magic bullet.

    Good luck,

    GP

  • Ford Prefect

    For the record, I used to hold your position with a fairly tight grip. But rather than argue, perhaps you could explain a couple things, as I tend to think some of your assumptions no longer hold any water.

    Namely, third-parties are not viable precisely because disaffected Democrats aren’t willing to defend their own values in real terms… by leaving. So that’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, methinks.

    If Big Labor stays within the Democratic fold, they will die there. Top leadership will be paid handsomely for killing off labor once and for all, but the death will still be all too real for millions of people. Trumka will not leave, as he’s a part of the Inner Party. Chances are, labor will die within the Dem fold, but perhaps it will be born again outside of it.

    I question your use of the word “leverage,” as I don’t see it existing within the institution itself. All the leverage belongs to Big Money Corporatists. As an example, the largest caucus in the House is the CPC, which has now fully endorsed the very unProgressive stance of a “new era of austerity.” It’s not that these people are necessarily spineless. It’s that they’ve volunteered to sell out, for whatever set of reasons.

    I would suggest that once the Democrats have finished off labor, environmentalists and so on, they will become the Whigs of the 21st Century. But they will be very rich Whigs with a great deal of power–as a matter of fact, both legacy parties are being hollowed out by outside, corporate PACs. Look at the transition they made in this year’s campaign. They went from Hope & Change to “Don’t let Team Red win, or you’ll all die.” In this sense, they’re already rather Whiggish, since they stand for precisely nothing but their own greed.

    Anyway, I want to know where this Leverage is and how to get it. I’ve worked for the Democratic Party and I’m rather confident as to how it works. You can’t stiffen the spines of people who will be tossed onto the trash heap if they leave the “reservation.” At this point, it’s better for these people to be thrown out of office by a betrayed electorate than to do the right things. That’s where all the money and cushy post-office sinecures are.

    There’s no money or power in advocating for the poor, even though we’re creating more of them now since any time post-depression. All the money lies in creating more poverty, not lessoning it. It’s all about incentives for these technocrats.

    In the post-post-modern world, all “leverage” derives from money and lots of it. The great firewall that exists in the Democratic Party is all about that money. So that’s where all the “leverage” is as well. Any plan to repurpose the Democrats (without purging almost all of the Party’s leadership) that doesn’t deal with the institutional barriers is simply not realistic.

    So how do you intend to deal with the elephant in the room? This is what I’m not seeing answered by those who think a completely rotted institution can somehow be saved from itself.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “if we can stiffen the spines of progressive officeholders.” ROTFL

  • GaiusPublius

    Understand, Ford, and an honest disagreement. I’m working on the highest-leverage path to a win. Third-parties don’t work in the U.S. without major institutional support. (If, for example, the AFL-CIO and Trumka abandoned the Dems for a new “Labor” Party, I’d be all over it. Dems without labor would remove the Dems à la the Whigs. So if you’re a big third-party fan, any of you, pimp for that and you’ll have leverage.)

    There’s leverage to be had inside the Democratic Party if we can stiffen the spines of progressive officeholders. I’ve been working for a year on how to do that. I’m not saying this is a sure win (obviously), but it’s the highest-leverage move I see.

    Again, honest disagreement and no problem with that. But that’s my thinking and approach. Thanks for the comment — I really get the frustration.

    GP

  • Butch1

    These rich people running the government think they are actually giving us a government “gift” instead of what is our money in the first place. We put this money away for our retirement along with our companies. The government has been stealing the money for other purposes promising to pay it back. Now they want to put restraints on us like it was OUR fault when it was their drunken spending that has caused all these problems? Social Security is NOT a part of the budget. Why are they even fooling around with it and acting like it is?

    These rich bastards want the money and they are looking for a way of getting at it or slowing down us getting our money. Here’s the solution: Take the cap off the top. Obama knows this. Boehner knows this. Reid knows this. They all know this but, will they seriously try and fix it the correct way and then pass a law where they are never to touch any of that money ever again? No. That money is just too tempting to these rich bastards. They want OUR money and they are looking for ways to get it. We need to stop these fools from accomplishing it. They are very hard headed and do NOT listen to their constituents no matter how many times you tell them how to fix it. They are hell bet on taking our money. We need to get them out of office.

    Third party candidates. We need to dump these two corporate run parties. They have done this to us. It’s they only way.

  • FunMe

    and “bipartisanship” ;-)

  • FunMe

    Glad for the 1st time I didn’t vote for him. Purposely. I didn’t want to be responsible for voting for a republican with a “D” next to his name. I am a Democrat at heart, but sadly I don’t think a true Democrat party exists.

  • Max_1

    .
    Dear America,
    A man who can compromise your ability to be safe FROM unwarranted searches by your Government is a man that can NOT be trusted on anything.

    ,

  • Max_1

    If you VOTED for Obama…
    … You voted for the status quo.

  • Butch1

    Short and sweet. ;-)

  • Butch1

    I just get so tired of watching him lie to the gullible and them eating it up and believing him. Then he flashes his 88 key winning piano smile thinking that he has sealed the deal again. Most of us know a flim-flam artist when we see one and Obama is still going around doing his act. Well, it doesn’t work for me and it just makes me madder when I see him pull it. Now he is going to slash at my main source of income like it has something to do with the debt. Meanwhile those rich bastards haven’t had to shed a penny toward the deficit. Haven’t we done enough? I think it’s time for us to stop and it’s time to let the rich catch up and do their share for about ten or fifteen years. Then, we’ll start again when they have caught up to the sacrifices we have been making for the past fifteen years. Obama should stop look at us for the solution to HIS AND CONGRESSES DEBT PROBLEMS. We didn’t cause them. They did.

  • indep_in_la

    I knew the bastard would cave. He’s a 1970’s moderate Republican – not a Democrat. And most of the Democrats are in the same boat. Even if he can think for himself, he’s being wrapped around the fingers of the right wing corporate economists and budget consultants.

    I’ll be on the phone tomorrow to my senators to work against this.

  • Number Six

    Didn’t Spock predict that?

  • Number Six

    No, he wants to go down in history as the guy who ‘brought both sides together” through his particular brand of “compromise”.

  • Number Six

    Don’t forget his stand on abortion.

  • Number Six

    Unfortunately, the only deductions they’re considering taking out are the ones most used by the middle class, and of little use to the ultra-rich.

  • Number Six

    no

  • lynchie

    Didn’t you mean he is a hair of Dubya’s ass .

  • ezpz

    Thank you.

  • Ford Prefect

    How are a bunch of poor people going to wrest power away from the titans of Wall Street, the Military-Industrial Complex, the Medical-Industrial Complex and so on?

    The biggest single reason the Democratic elites have decided to wage class warfare is to prevent that which you still think possible. As wages, savings and the broader standard of living declines, so too does the ability of what used to be the “middle classes” to respond politically.

    I would suggest you are not being realistic. Anyone capable of spelling out a realistic Order Of Battle will realize the Democratic Party is beyond the reach of “little people.” The elites’ own knowledge of this is illustrated in the way they can completely ignore public opinion when making policy.

    The very notion that the Democratic Party can be taken away from those who paid for it in large amounts is increasingly unrealistic. Even silly. The notion that those who were bought off in that process would go along with it is even more unrealistic.

    The institution is too rotten to be fixed. If you do the math of what it would take to accomplish what you want to see, you’ll understand it better. You’re taking the Path Of Most Resistance.

  • lynchie

    He didn’t roll over this was his intention from the start. Do we really need 800 odd military bases around the world. Do we need our troops and the bases in England, France, Germany etc, etc.
    This a continuation of what Regan started take all the money from the middle class and poor and distribute it to the rich. His first adventure was the S & L fiasco he changed the banking rules and guaranteed Savings and Loans and then we bailed them out under Bush, Good old Neil was head of Silverado S&L he loaned a couple of million based on 10 acres of tumbleweeds and a 5 year old cadillac. The guy disappeared and we bailed the s&l out. In modern days we have the fiasco of 2008 which cost us $17 trillion. Just transferring the wealth to the rich and fuck you all. Now the pot is sweeter because we have to work until we die on the job so the rich get a little more. Fuck, Fuck Fuck you all.

  • Ford Prefect

    Ya, no moderate. I’d venture to say that anyone who thinks killing people is a way to “save money” is probably not the least bit moderate. More like Agusto Pinochet, really.

  • Butch1

    I, as well. This POS is a traitor to all the people who voted for him.

  • Butch1

    Well . . .well . . . well. Couldn’t lie your way past this one for very much longer, could you?. Many of us who didn’t vote for this back stabber knew he was going to do this and sure enough the “Liar in Chief” has them all on the table ready to slash them. Where is the Defense Budget Mr. President? Where are the Jobs you continue to talk about? Enough about this goddamn deficit. Defense Depart with all of their extra money? Why aren’t you going after that with a vengeance like you are our Safety Net?

    I knew in the end you would roll over and start giving up everything that the middle class values and has worked hard to have. Hope you are satisfied. You are nothing but a liar and you are nothing but a DINO and always have been one. Have you no decency?

  • A reader in Colorado

    Okay. I respect your disagreement and wasn’t trying to twist your words. I actually wanted to see what you were saying.

    But, ah, it’s because of the two parties and their party apparatchiks, that there are ineffective third party challenges. It’s not just corporations that have a lock on government. Parties, do as well. And more than that, they have, through their SOS offices and corporate connections, control of the election and debate process as well.

    If a broad based third party challenge hasn’t yet been effective, neither has a cadre coup. Sometime it might be beneficial to look at the who, how of sabotage of those possible processes; I think it would come down to the same thing. Third parties aren’t ineffective, they are sabotaged.

    As would any “cadre coup” be as well. Thus, it would seem any first step would be to go after the sabotage and the saboteurs

  • GaiusPublius

    I didn’t say the same thing you just said.

    GP

  • Kane

    You’re still missing the point. They’re not cowards. That’s a rationalization many Democratic Party partisans routinely use because they can’t handle the truth about their party leaders. Obama and his wing of the party, which includes most members of congress, are “New Democrat” centrist ideologues, who believe New Deal and Great Society social insurance programs are outdated. They see this phony budget “crisis” as a great opportunity to begin undermining those programs.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I would just say “bring health care prices under control” Not “costs”. Because “costs” are just unaccountable entities like the “cost” of wheat. The “cost” of something is the “cost”.

    The price of health care in the United States is going up, much more than any cost.

    Clearly, countries other than the United States manage to get health care done for their citizens sometimes at less than a quarter of the price of U.S. health care.

    It’s prices, not costs, that are out of control. Some of this is inefficiency and duplication. But most of it is various entities taking advantage of the American health care system and its users.

  • ezpz

    I didn’t wonder. I voted for her, too, and encouraged anyone who would listen to NOT vote for either evil.

  • ezpz

    lol. They’re right – he doesn’t work very much. Campaigns a lot, but work? Nah.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same here.

  • A reader in Colorado

    What’s really awful about this is Obama saying outright that he doesn’t think it’d save a lot of money.

    Then why’s he doing it?

    If he does this to toss Republican salad, with no justification whatsoever, then the question to be, “You sentenced thousands of people over 65 to no Medicare, to make John Boehner happy and for no other reason?”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I didn’t vote for the bastard either. But, I get no pleasure in saying, “I told you so.” The calamity is unfolding pretty much as we predicted. Obama’s dismantling of our safety net will cost lives and institutionalize suffering for millions. I never though I’d live to see this version of America. Makes me sick.

  • UncleBucky

    But regardless of the discussion, the use of the name “Barry” doesn’t work….

  • basenjilover

    BeccaM…..And my friends wondered why I voted for Jill Stein. I told them Obama will cut SS and Medicare and they didn’t believe he would once he’s re-elected. Now I can wag my finger in their faces. “Told ya!”

  • Mighty

    Don’t be shocked if they don’t institute a deductible on medicare. $5,000 or $10,000 here we come.

  • perljammer

    Is there anyone here who doesn’t realize that there is no functional difference between 37% and 39.6% top marginal tax rates, when the very rich are paying less than 20% (see, for example, Warren Buffet)? You can raise that top rate all you want, and it won’t make any difference in revenue unless some reasonable limits on deductions are put in place.

  • HolyMoly

    This is the domestic version of “we had to destroy the village in order to save it.” I guess the object here is to make more people pay into it and then hurry up and die before they’re old enough to collect, or shortly after reaching retirement age. Add cuts to monthly benefits, and we’re right back to cat food. At this rate, I’m convinced that Social Security will be nonexistent by the time I reach retirement age (80?), and it’s not due to any perceived insolvency.

    Another point worth mentioning: “The current path is not sustainable because we’ve got an aging population and health care costs are shooting up so quickly.” The problem isn’t Social Security or Medicare; it’s the tragic healthcare situation we have. You cannot cure a disease by merely treating its symptoms.

    This reminds me of the argument way back when to keep the armed forces segregated, not because segregation was good (we would LOVE to see integration, say the powers that be), but because some of the white soldiers might react violently to it (but which is the symptom and which is the disease?) The same type of argument has been used for many a battle in civil domestic policy, like integration of public schools and, most recently, repeal of DADT.

    The time has come for certain things to be considered both as inherent rights and as national security concerns. An unhealthy nation unable to get treatment is, to me, a national security concern, just as skyrocketing gasoline prices. Why are these things even allowed to be for-profit?

    Bring healthcare costs under control — that’s the bottom line. Otherwise 5 or 10 years from now we’re going to hear the same bulls–t argument about how we need to cut entitlements because of the cost of healthcare. Single-payer Medicare for all would be a nice start.

  • A reader in Colorado

    But, doncha know, Obama is a thousand times better than Romney.

    I guess that thousand times better than meant that instead of screaming “I got a mandayte and Ahhm THE DECIDER!” He simply tells Americans “I believe in fairness for all”

    Then sticks the ole shiv in the back.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Or his homophobic beliefs, or his beliefs that people should just be free to ban people from stores and lunch counters because “racism/homophobia/etc. is a thing of the past”.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Agreed, I’ll believe it when I see it. The whip count is pretty sad. Are the Democrats going to follow Obama right off a cliff? Right now there are not enough Senators to hold the line.

  • A reader in Colorado

    And Democrats will go down heavy in 2014 if the party allows this. Remember, this is not about Obama; it’s about the future of the whole party. And you can say that — some of these folks are seriously bubbled by big money donors and that rarified DC air.

    I’ll remember you said that, Gaius. If they are to go down, as a party, then a proposal should be on the table to replace them, as a party.

    Which means, either support the Republicans or explicitly support a third party. I know you’ve been opposed to that in the past. And I know you don’t wish to support Republicans. Those are the two other choices if the entire party is going to deserve a shellacking in 2014. Or are you just saying that you know folks like me will support a third party if this happens? But then, I already do ;).

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

    Agreed. His proposal to end drug prohibition is also a great idea. But it doesn’t negate the craziness of his belief in fictional dystopian economic systems…or his cozy relationships with white supremacist organizations.

  • Naja pallida

    I’ll believe it when I see it. All it takes is one Senator to effectively kill any legislation in the Senate. So if he doesn’t want this deal to happen, he can stop it if he really wanted to.

  • Naja pallida

    They said nobody named Barry works there. :(

  • Naja pallida

    He’s a hair off George W. Bush on the political spectrum. Moderate, my ass.

  • Naja pallida

    Sorry, but if you didn’t see this coming, you simply have not been paying attention. This is exactly what Obama ran on, and what anyone who voted for Obama voted for. Yeah, wah wah, Romney would have been worse. Not really. He would have just dumped on us all faster, and all at once, instead of a slow, long, drawn out diarrhea of shitty policy choices.

    I’ve already put calls into my Congressman and Senators to vote against any compromise with Obama at all. Thankfully, since they’re self-serving Republicans, I can be pretty sure they will be happy to go that way.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Let us know how it turns out. Sincerely, I’d really like to know. Thanks Becca! :)

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

    By strengthen you mean “take away from”. As in take away benefits that we have paid for and are owed. Screw both the repugs and the democrats.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Reached Senator Michael Bennett’s office (D-Colo), and was told, “The Senator opposes any cuts to Social Security and is in favor of strengthening Medicare and Medicaid for future generations.” I followed up with, “So does that mean the Senator opposes any cuts whatsoever to Medicare or Medicaid?” and the staff member told me that “Right now there is no proposal in front of the Senate, so I can only repeat what I have said so far”.

    I read this as considering benefit cuts. Made sure I let her know I was opposed to any cuts of any nature to SS, Medicare or Medicaid.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Just spoke to Tom Udall’s office (D-Colo) and asked, “I would like to know whether Senator Udall opposes cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid”. The staff member said, “Senator Udall opposes any cuts to those programs. I followed up with “So Senator Udall will hold the line and oppose any proposals that cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in any way” and the answer was “Yes”.

    Previously he has been in the wavering column, but this time the answer I got was pretty unequivocal.

  • rovibo

    I knew that eventually, Obama and the democrats who have NO BALLS would OBEY the demonic republicans and give them what they asked even if it would be bad for all americans.
    DEMOCRATS WILL NEVER HAVE BALLS. THEY WILL ALWAYS BE COWARDS AND OUTSMARTED BY EVIL REPUBLICANS.

  • ezpz

    A republican? Yes. Moderate? Not so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randyariddle Randy Riddle

    I take it that Obama wants to use his second term to go down in history as the man who pressed the red button, destroying the two greatest social safety nets created by the Federal government. I guess giving his rich donors a tax break is more important than the needs of the American people.

  • ComradeRutherford

    “Obama finally admits cuts to Medicare, Social Security are on the table”

    Well, duh! Obama is a moderate Republican, of course he will always sell out the Democratic base.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    I can’t argue that, EZPZ. I think you’re correct.

  • ezpz

    OR – it could well be that Obama is on the same page, and this is HIS agenda as well. I really don’t think it has anything to do with courage and everything to do with the fact that he’s a right winger himself cloaked in a suit with a D label – because R hasn’t been selling too well, especially after Bush.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    I hate to say I told you so, especially on this issue… but I told you so.

    Obama’s going to make our seniors pay for Bush’s recession and massive spending increases. He’s going to make you and I spend more time in the work force, ACTUALLY paying taxes, because he lacks the courage to call out the GOP on their horrid policies.

  • nicho

    No, it’s a great idea. However, Ron Paul is crazy.

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

    And people wonder why I registered as an Independent after three decades of unbroken Democratic voter registration and refused to vote for Obama…

    It is not always true that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Sometimes he’s just another enemy.

  • guest1

    That’s Ron Paul’s solution, cut the wars, therefore it is a bad and crazy idea

  • Quilla

    This is nuts. Has anyone heard the word WAR mentioned in any of these circular firing squads, um, discussions? You know, like maybe if we get out of this freaking WAR we might have enough money to take care of real important business?

  • UncleBucky

    white house number is: 202 456 1111

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