Henry Waxman will support Chained CPI in trade for “things we want”

I’ve said before that everyone can be an activist because everyone has reach. Some have more and some have less, but even if you think your reach is small, using it can have a large effect. This is a story about an AMERICAblog reader who used her reach to question Dem. House member Henry Waxman (CA-33) at a town hall meeting about his support for Chained CPI. She asked him if he would sign the strong Grayson-Takano No Cuts letter (promising a No vote on any benefit cuts).

It turns out Waxman won’t sign the letter and does support Chained CPI if the price is right — who knew? Thanks to Kim Kaufman, we do.

This story is important for several reasons:

▪ It shows that a person acting alone can have an effect (you don’t need permission to do things).

▪ It makes the point again about one way to blackmail progressives — just put a hostage in the bill. (Our discussion of using hostages to line up progressive support for bad ideas is here.)

▪ And finally, it shows that in Rep. Waxman’s case, it wouldn’t be blackmail, since he seems ready to deal if the price is right. As Waxman told his town hall audience:

“I can see possibilities that some things that we don’t like may be in a final budget and that will get us a lot of things we do want.”

Let’s let activist Kim Kaufman speak for herself. Kaufman is not just an AMERICAblog reader, she’s also a member of PCCC, one of the more left-leaning organizations. Here’s Kaufman telling her story:

Democratic “progressive” Henry Waxman has signed the weaker benefit-cuts letter (now being called the CPC or Schakowsky letter). But as you see, he won’t promise a No vote. Henry Waxman, open for business — just make him an offer.

What do we know about Henry Waxman?

We know that Henry Waxman represents a nice chunk of real estate in Los Angeles. His CA District 33 includes Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach. You know, places where poor people live (it’s true that some poor people do live there, but not many).


Henry Waxman

We know that Waxman got a lot of attaboy progressive cred by acting tough during the Bush II years. Deserved? Perhaps, but it was easy for Dems to look tough when Republicans held the White House. How has he done with Obama holding the reins?

We know that Waxman voted Yes (with Obama) on Obama’s bad compromise on the Bush-Obama 2012 tax cuts — even after those tax cuts had fully expired on January 1, 2013. A very weak, party-first vote, since we know that if Obama had wanted to, he could have declared himself the winner at midnight on January 1 and had any tax cut deal he wanted. Again, they had all expired. He chose to give away half the store to the wealthy anyway — and Waxman voted with him.

We know that Waxman signed the CPC-Shakowsky no-cuts letter, expressing no “support” for benefit cuts; and thanks to Kaufman, we know that his signature there means nothing. Waxman will support benefit cuts if he’s offered the right bait.

We know that the Cook PVI of his district is D+12, so we know that Waxman probably thinks he can do whatever he wants and never worry about a primary or a Republican.

We know that Waxman sometimes does the bidding of the wealthy in his district against broader interests like public transportation (my emphasis and paragraphing).

In 1985, Waxman sponsored a bill supported by affluent homeowners groups in his district to ban federal funding for the Red Line subway after a methane gas explosion in the Fairfax District.

In 2005, a robust real estate market, multi-dwelling construction boom, and lack of public mass transit planning on the westside caused by Waxman’s bill resulted in gridlock throughout Waxman’s district.[14] At the request of Los Angeles Mayor and LACMTA Board PresidentAntonio Villaraigosa, Waxman agreed to lift the ban if a panel of five engineers found tunneling under the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard to be safe. In October 2005, the panel decided that tunneling was possible, and on December 16, Waxman responded by announcing he would introduce a bill to the U.S. House that would lift the ban on federal money for subway tunneling in the district. This bill passed the House via unanimous vote on September 20, 2006.[15]

Waxman maintains that the 1985 bill was sponsored in the interest of public safety and not, as some allege, to hinder access of the working classes inSouth and East Los Angeles to his affluent district.

We know that Henry Waxman has offices. These are his numbers:

DC: 202-225-3976
LA: 310-652-3095 / 323-651-1040

We know that operators are waiting, especially if you live in his district.

One last point — if you call, report back

A final point. Kim Kaufman not only acted, she reported back in a comment to this post. In her comment, she wrote in part:

So, at the end of the day, Henry Waxman will throw seniors, disabled, etc., under the bus — to get something he really wants. Wonder how wonderful that something might be. And this was after speaking at length in the beginning about understanding how hard it is to live on the present Social Security rates.

That report-back got her to the attention of the PCCC (coincidentally, she was already a member). And that got the following campaign launched:


Care to join the PCCC campaign? Click here. Care to call Waxman directly? Phone numbers are listed above. And if you do call, report back; feel free to add your story to the comments to this post. The antidote for political depression is action, and everyone has reach. Please use yours.

And if you do, thanks!


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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63 Responses to “Henry Waxman will support Chained CPI in trade for “things we want””

  1. MaryinChicago says:

    THIS senior will CONSIDER “chained CPI” (even though it makes absolutely NO economic sense) on the day AFTER (a) capital gains, dividends, and “carried interest” are taxed at the same rates as earned income, (b) ALL income is subject to individual FICA/Medicare taxes and “carried interest” is also subject to the employer portion of FICA/Medicare taxes, (c) ALL securities sales and purchases (stocks, bonds, futures, derivatives, plus whatever Wall Street and LaSalle Street dream up tomorrow) are subject to a modest Financial Transaction Tax, and (d) an expanded Buffett Rule sets a minimum tax rate of 30% for all individuals with AGIs of $1 million or more and all corporations with net incomes of $10 million or more. How’s THAT for being willing to compromise!

  2. SteveD says:

    FICA is the most damaging tax in American history. It punishes the middle and lower income classes (the “99%”), while leaving upper income classes (the “1%”) virtually untouched. It punishes salaried people while leaving all other types of income unscathed.

    For many in the middle and lower income classes, FICA is the largest tax they pay – larger even than those income taxes that are much in discussion today. No tax does more than FICA to widen the gap between the richest and the rest.

    So it should come no surprise that the Democrats and the Republicans favored increasing FICA, since both parties receive so much funding from the upper 1%.
    President Obama, the self-proclaimed protector of the 99%, does not mind increasing taxes on the “little” people who voted for him.
    Americans successfully have been brainwashed into believing FICA pays for your Social Security. That is one of the great successes of the *BIG LIE*.

    Bottom line: FICA is 100% bad for the economy. Before the U.S. became Monetarily Sovereign in 1971, FICA did fund Social Security. Today, FICA no longer pays for Social Security. FICA does not pay for Medicare. FICA does not pay for anything. You might as well shove your money into a garbage bag and burn it.

    All FICA does is take money from the pockets of middle and lower income class consumers and from businesses (which take it from employees). More than a trillion dollars was paid for FICA this year. That’s a trillion dollars removed from the economy, lost forever. Think of what this economy could do with an extra $1 trillion.

    If FICA were $0, that would not reduce by even one cent, the federal government’s ability to pay all (and MUCH higher) Social Security benefits and to provide free Medicare to every man, woman and child in America. The collection of FICA is the 2nd biggest tax disgrace in America.

    The biggest? Obama and the Democrats – the great supporters of the 99% – justify FICA by telling you the *BIG LIE.

    [*The BIG LIE is a statement that U.S. federal taxes pay for U.S. spending. In a Monetarily Sovereign government, taxes pay for nothing.]

  3. Corey says:

    I wonder when Americans will actually wake-up and start supporting real Leftist Socialists where “We the People” means what it says? Until then nothing will change!

  4. Whitewitch says:

    I like your movement, sadly it is too late to join, but at least I only replaced my self and not a +10. I hope to work until I drop – as I am pretty sure SS won’t be there anymore (and I am only about 10 years away from qualifying). I had dreams of retiring – those are now long gone and I believe the poor houses is where the wealthy would love to see us.

  5. Whitewitch says:

    They will all rush to stop it…if they are not already working behind the scenes to do so. The impeachment is really to drag Hillary around a mud puddle, they will just use him for that end.

  6. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    The other guy was worse. That doesn’t mean you go home and eat cookie dough out of the tube for the next four years and let other people run everything. keep your friends close and your enemies closer, pissing inside the tent, yada yada yada.

  7. Sweetie says:

    Henry Waxman: I will support Chained CPI in trade for things I want


  8. Naja pallida says:

    I’m a card carrying member of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, so I intend to put no such burden on any future generation, but I get your point. It is making the piece of the public pie smaller, but no matter how you want to twist it, that cost shortfall has to be made up from somewhere. If it doesn’t come from SS, it will have to come out of the pockets of families. If not from families, then it will still come out of the public coffers, just at a higher rate than just properly funding SS would have afforded.

    Before SS there were thousands of publicly operated poor houses across the country. Essentially disgusting, terribly run places that were drastically underfunded, where people were thrown for the hideous crime of outliving their usefulness, and being incapable of working to support themselves. That kind of thing is really what we’re heading towards again. Work until you drop. If you can’t do that, then you’re locked away so society doesn’t have to look at you, and served gruel until you finally do die.

  9. GaiusPublius says:

    Please do, FunMe. Great to see you’re in his district. If you have more misdeeds to paint him with, please let us all know. Thanks!


  10. No agreement about SS is binding for all time – it is not prefunded. If Democrats get control of the House they can and should up the benefit level (and broaden the tax base – increase the cap and tax capital gains, interest and dividends). But Republicans are not really going to agree to tax increases no matter what is offered, so the whole debate could be just propaganda maneuvering. This assumes that Democrats really do hold out for tax increases, which is not guaranteed.

  11. Yeah, I guess we’re not too far apart, although I think we differ on our opinions of how far the Republicans plan to push their little sideshow.

    It’s relevant to point out, perhaps, that Republicans have a penchant for trying to win new versions of old battles–how many times have they tried vicariously to win the Vietnam War?–and I don’t put it past them to try to succeed now where they failed with Clinton, not because of any cynical political strategy but because they’re vindictive jackasses.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    Dream Time is over.

  13. Avedon says:

    You can’t compare Grover Norquist’s pledge to this one. One is extremely bad policy and the other is good policy.

    Look, we make all of them take a pledge to support and defend the Constitution. There’s a good reason for that, but it’s plain from their behaviour that our legislators by and large don’t take that oath seriously.
    Our real problem is not that making a pledge is bad. Our real problem is that we can’t trust them to keep their promises. Obama led the way with his promise on the FISA vote.

  14. Mocas Dad says:

    My guess is that all dems who have refused to sign Grayson-Takano would, if they were candid, say exactly the same thing as Waxman. That includes my rep, the sainted (for reasons that escape me) Chellie Pingree.

    I have to think that many of them think they’ll be able to reason with us, as Pingree did when she voted for the atrocity that Biden “negotiated” with McConnell to start 2013. Explaining her vote, she drooled something about milk prices. Dems never make the GOP own their bad ideas. Instead, they feel compelled to bargain with them, needlessly giving away valuable things in the process. The next day, the GOP makes the same demands, and the dems eventually give something else away. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  15. Avedon says:

    It would help if people would stop talking about Social Security as if it only helped “seniors”. The money that goes to those seniors helps keep their kids from having to support them and helps money get into the real economy. Believe me, your kids and grandkids won’t like living in the world where granny doesn’t get as much money, either.

  16. ezpz says:

    “It was a few goobers in the Cleveland office — not some grand conspiracy…”


    That seems to be the Rachel Maddow talking point, which means it’s the admin’s “official” line, but hardly the case…

    “An upcoming report from theTreasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is said to show that Lois Lerner, the IRS director of tax–exempt organizations, was told about the targeting of conservative political groups in 2011, and not 2012, as she admitted to Friday….
    …the Inspector General report, expected out early next week, includes a draft timeline that will show Lerner was told of the targeting in a June 2011 meeting, according to portions of the report obtained by USA Today.
    USA Today reported that Lerner objected to this criteria, and so new criteria was established for targeting “’political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,’” the report will show…



    And I don’t think it takes a cynic to question whether it’s coincidence that the Cleveland, Ohio office was charged with this “task” of targeting these groups. IIRC, Ohio was considered a must win state for the presidential election.

  17. JayRandal says:

    So-called Democrats who back Chained-CPI are phonies. Any DEM who fails to defend Social Security is a traitor in my opinion. Shame on all DINOs.

  18. JayRandal says:

    You live in his district FunMe? If you do petition to force his resignation or retirement.
    He serves no noble causes staying in his seat. Real liberals/progressives have to take
    him down to set an example to other Dems like Pelosi to clean up their bogus actions.

  19. FunMe says:

    I just saw the video … she is way too nice.

    I live in Henry’s district. I will call this week. I will also share with friends out here in the Westside to expose what Congressman Waxman is planning to do … a so-called “progressive” wants to cut senior citizen’s benefits to help the rich.

    Despicable and IMMORAL!

    Has Congressman Waxman have not shame?

    If he votes for the cuts, we the people in his district will vote to cut HIM out of OUR government!!!

  20. FunMe says:

    Normally I don’t make fun of someone’s appearance, but when they are corporate $$$whores$$$ who have sold their soul to $$$ while the less fortunate suffer because of their selfishness … I make fun of them.

    Have you noticed his wide-opened pig nose? Now THAT is rotten for sure!

  21. FunMe says:

    So glad I did NOT vote for him this time. I think I put “my dog Lassie” … even if I don’t own a pet.

  22. FunMe says:

    Sorry for my bad words, but “f” them all, both republiCONs and Democrats. We need to push back and expose them for the despicable politicians and human beings that ALL of them are. I detest them!

  23. FunMe says:

    How’s this to tell our politicians?:

    “How can you as a so-called ‘progressive’ sleep at night when YOU have cut grandma and grandpa’s benefits to give to the rich? Have you no shame?”

    Lather, rinse, REPEAT.

    “How can you as a so-called ‘progressive’ sleep at night when YOU have cut grandma and grandpa’s benefits to give to the rich? Have you no shame?”

  24. FunMe says:

    We need to get OUR line … WE THE PEOPLE’s line back to them:

    “How can you sleep at night when YOU have cut grandma and grandpa’s benefits to give to the rich?”

    Simple and to the point.

    Lather, rinse, and REPEAT over and over again.

    “How can you sleep at night when YOU have cut grandma and grandpa’s benefits to give to the rich?”

  25. FunMe says:

    GREAT point! “Both of them used nearly identical language, which suggests to me they’re being given talking points by the DNC, Senate Dem leadership, and/or the White House.”

    They are all in it.

    So what do we do? We fight back and ask them why they as Democrats are cutting senior citizens benefits to give to the rich.

    That simple.

  26. FunMe says:


    No wonder I did not vote for him … my so-called Congressman. More like a typical corporate $$WHORE$$$ like most politicians have become. He disgusts me!

  27. Ford Prefect says:

    Of course. It beats having to actually work at doing “journalism” or something useful.

  28. Ford Prefect says:

    In that case, we agree, mostly. If it’s not intended to result in actual impeachment, then the point is something other than impeachment.

    You’re also right about the mud and such. They didn’t care then and they don’t care now. Same too with Dems. They don’t really care either. That’s why I view this not as an attempt at impeachment but merely the usual phony drama that keeps people frothy while they conduct the usual evil business in congress. While the media is full of impeachment BS, TPP will sail through unnoticed, for example.

  29. Because it failed in the senate and they came out looking really awful and their polling was in the basement afterwards? The same thing holds today, except neither part cares about their polling anymore.

    Did the Republicans care about it then? Their name might have been mud but two years later they had the Presidency and a fairly decent grip on the legislature despite losing a few seats (but really not that many) in 1998 and 2000. While it’s difficult to judge it’s also possible that the lingering stench hurt Gore a bit in 2000. I honestly don’t think the Republicans considered their impeachment attempt to be a failure. Yeah, it failed in the Senate, but that’s a failure only if actual impeachment was the goal. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.

  30. nicho says:

    It was a few goobers in the Cleveland office — not some grand conspiracy, but give Faux News three weeks and it will be a constitutional crisis.

  31. Ford Prefect says:

    Because it failed in the senate and they came out looking really awful and their polling was in the basement afterwards? The same thing holds today, except neither part cares about their polling anymore.

    The Dems still have the Senate and they will block any effort at punishment, even if the House managed to convict. That doesn’t mean the kabuki isn’t worthwhile. It definitely is. It will keep lots of people frothy over nothing for months. But nothing will come of it and in the mean time, shitloads of nightmarish leglislation will be voted on while the media convulses over “impeachment.” Just keeping the story alive will help both the GOP and the WH. Nothing has to come of it.

  32. Ford Prefect says:

    It’s good kabuki. Fake drama with which to distract the rubes. Works every time.

    The reason I’m dubious about it is it goes nowhere in the senate. The house can do as it pleases, but without the sentencing from the senate, it goes nowhere, just like Clinton.

    The irony is that Obama probably is impeachable, but not on anything the GOP would be interested in impeaching him for, since it would apply to any GOP president as well. Benghazi is a clusterfuck. Trying to impeach on that is a dead end. They’d have to expose the CIA’s problems in order to do a real job on it. Na. Ga. Ha. Pen. They’re not going to get into real territory on it, so it’s just a flash in the pan. There is legitimate reason to investigate it, but since it’s purely political, it will go nowhere interesting. Even then it’s limited. Real oversight ist verboten. Only faux oversight is possible. So to only faux investigations are possible.

    The IRS thing is interesting, but I’m dubious. It’s probably perfectly legal, even if it is political.

  33. Yeah, they’re going there, although it will take them a while to build up to it. They tried once already on another President charged with far more ridiculous “high crimes”. Why on Earth wouldn’t they try again?

  34. JayRandal says:

    Another weird thing about him is lack of dental hygiene. Persons who have money but let their teeth
    rot in my opinion expose their rotten minds too. He is really trashy Democrat actually a DINO.

  35. JayRandal says:

    Waxman has been a sell out Democrat to Republicans for several years now. He is a phony progressive. The way to deal with him is to force him to retire or primary him exposing his actions.
    What good things he wants in trade for Chained-CPI would be 100% crap just like himself.

  36. nicho says:

    It’s already started. The corporatist media this weekend was flogging two stories. One was that the IRS wrongly targeted the Teabaggers in 2012 and the second was that the administration changed its talking points on Benghazi. Both stories are bullshit, but were page one across the country all weekend.

  37. Naja pallida says:

    Even if they do try to impeach him, it will mean about as much as the 40 times they’ve voted to repeal Obamacare.

  38. Ford Prefect says:

    And who is “we” anyway? I’m guessing he wasn’t referring to us Little People.

  39. Ford Prefect says:

    I doubt they will try to impeach. I don’t think they’ve got the cajones to really go there. Lawlessness, after all, is the mantra of the RepubliDemocans.

    It would be a good reason to invest in popcorn futures though.

  40. nicho says:

    When the GOP tries to impeach Obama this year — and they will — it will be interesting to see how many members of the 99 percent rush to support him.

  41. Bill_Perdue says:

    The BLS’s inflation estimate combines food and energy consumables, both very high, with housing which is deflationary to show a false picture of the situation.

    Food is getting very unsafe. I’ve been addicted to hamburgers all my life but no more, hamburger meat if full of bone shards.

  42. GarySFBCN says:

    Do you see the image of three men in the middle of the page? That is the calculator.

  43. karmanot says:

    I couldn’t find the calculator on the link.

  44. GarySFBCN says:

    Because I am often misunderstood, let me first say I am 100% against moving to the chained CPI.

    Part of the problem – and one reason why we are losing – is the framing of the discussion. Changing to the chained CPI is presented as only a few tenths of a percent so who cares? And while Gaius has done good analysis on this in other articles, we never seem to develop a ‘sound bite’. In this article, he says that we’ve been ‘thrown under the bus.’ Most who we need to convince about the importance of this are not going to be motivated to call because we are not making the case.

    If we said that we would lose almost one year’s social security benefit after 25 years, some of us may begin to recognise in relative terms how we are going to be affected. While that is better than ‘throwing under the bus’ it still isn’t the sound bite we need.

    And before you all start the smackdown, I hate that we have to dumb-down everything to sound bites, but that is the world in which we function at the moment. If anyone is working to change that, I’ll be glad to help.

    Finally, here is an easy-to-use calculator to show exactly how much each of us is going to lose.


  45. BeccaM says:

    They already know their position as the permanent “lesser evil” for moderate and progressive voters is unchallenged, and have learned all they need to do to fool the rubes is to mouth the appropriate populist platitudes come election time.

  46. karmanot says:


  47. karmanot says:

    Sabotage and Revolution.: the new paradigm of Hope and Change—— a million paper cuts.

  48. karmanot says:

    Basic: we want safe clean housing and safe clean affordable food. Sarah Palin was right about the death panels!

  49. Ford Prefect says:

    True dat. But that phrase will mean anything they want it to mean. For right-wingers, including 90% of Democrats in DC, it means “small business” which means “transnational corporations.”

  50. nicho says:

    The most vulnerable citizens are the 99 percent.

  51. Bill_Perdue says:

    Typical dirtbag Democrat and or Republican.

    What retired and active workers want is not what Democrats and their Republican cousins want.

    We want a decent life – they want to trade influence for a life of luxury, like the Clintons, Nixon, Reagan and Obama.

    Next time write in Brad Manning.

  52. I just don’t see any reversal in sight of this downward spiral. What’s desperately needed is a reversal of the trend toward making the tax code more and more regressive but even the smallest steps in that direction seem to be politically impossible. As for social welfare programs they are now firmly established as “entitlements”, evil necessities at best. The most that any politician seems willing to concede is that maybe they ought to be kept around a little longer. But I honestly get the idea that the common belief among Republicans and Democrats is that these “entitlement” programs ought eventually to be abolished altogether, with Republicans wanting immediate dissolution while Democrats prefer a gentler approach. Is there a single man or woman in Congress arguing for expanding and strengthening these programs? I don’t see it.

  53. BeccaM says:

    Not to mention anybody else they fail to exempt from this legislative abomination.

  54. Naja pallida says:

    So, what is an equal trade for throwing all future generations of seniors to the wolves?

  55. lynchie says:

    Here is a list of Waxman’s contributors, a lot of health care and entertainment.


    be interesting to see who adds to his cash total after he votes to screw the poor and elderly. Funny how shared sacrifice is only for the poor. they never ask the rich to pony up a little more so the folks with far less can keep some credible standard of living. The job creators are so punished as are our elected/bribed officials. Vote to bail out the banks and a nice steak and bottle of wine. Take the bag of cash from the lobbyist du jour and followed by a brandy and cigar. “Wonder what the poor and elderly are dining on tonite, who cares fuck em, pass the brandy”.

  56. Ford Prefect says:

    In this case, compromise means throwing millions of people–who’ve paid into the system their entire working lives–under the bus. So if the Party Of NO sinks Obama’s “grand bargain,” then they will have done us all a big favor. For a little while, anyway.

    Just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, even the dumbest political methods can reap the odd benefit, even (some might say ESPECIALLY) when it runs contrary to what the practitioner intended. In this case, it’s clear that the GOP sticking to its STUPID guns would be more beneficial than compromise. The Dems will go along with whatever Obama says. They’d rather commit political suicide than do the right thing. They’re too feckless and greedy to do anything else.

    So if GOP Stupid is all we’re left with, I guess that’s all we’re left with! Just Say NO!

  57. Sweetie says:

    “but what’s really
    going to stop them from voting for it anyway?”


  58. Ford Prefect says:

    Yep, decades-old GOP talking points are now Dem SOP:

    Their only proviso is that it “includes protections for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

    That line is what allows them to sleep at night after fucking over millions of people. Everyone–including “progressives”– is now using that language, which rather presages what’s coming.

  59. doug105 says:

    First all this pledge crap needs to go they should only pledge to the country,seems kind of hypocritical to call the rethug’s on pledging to Grover Norquist (and I do) then turn around and do the same thing even if its something I totally agree with.
    That said I cant think of anything the repub’s would be willing give up that would be worth this.
    They are rapidly becoming the NO COMPROMISE party with only a few older members still willing to work things out.

  60. BeccaM says:

    I contacted both of my Senators — Udall and Heinrich — and got pretty much the same position letter back from them in response.

    1. They’re kinda-sorta against the idea.
    2. They won’t promise not to vote for chained-CPI.
    3. Their only proviso is that it “includes protections for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

    Both of them used nearly identical language, which suggests to me they’re being given talking points by the DNC, Senate Dem leadership, and/or the White House.

    Neither of them explained why it’s on the table in the first place when all it does is hurt the people who can least afford to be asked to sacrifice, nor did they answer my question, “If this is a bad idea and bad policy, why is it being discussed at all?” In my own contacts, I even brought up “why not raise the payroll tax cap and fix any shortfall forever?” — and did not receive an answer on that query. Nor did either of them address the point that Social Security and Medicare do not contribute to the deficit.

    My only quibble here, Gaius, is your contention that we little people can make a difference. Yes, Kim was able to uncover the fact that the allegedly ‘progressive’ Dems are already rolling over to show their bellies to their Blue Dog masters. That’s information. Possibly useful to know to apply pressure now because we apparently have hardly anybody holding the line against chained-CPI these days — but what’s really going to stop them from voting for it anyway? One after another, the only thing these quislings are insisting on are fig leaves so they can claim they tried to soften the blow for one constituency group or another.

  61. Kim_Kaufman says:

    Awesome, GP. Thanks.

  62. jomicur says:

    With “saviors” like the Democrats, who needs traitors?

  63. nicho says:

    But the other guy was worse — or something.

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