Predictably, Dana Milbank falls for the conservative crooner from New Jersey. Milbank has joined the “Morning Joe” crowd who actually believe Social Security is not only part of the deficit issue, but also believe it needs to be tinkered with to get us out of our budget problem. It’s ideologically based in financial fantasyland.
As Ronnie proved with Reagonomics, the Right can’t add, but really can’t calculate budgets, but at least Reagan was able to bite the bullet to save Social Security, even if it was with a payroll tax hike. Gov. Christie is proving he’s not only no Ronald Reagan, but doesn’t understand that what he’s suggesting is part of what got Reagan into the tax increase mess in the first place. Christie’s raise the retirement age mantra, something that directly hits lower income families and people, ignores raising the cap because tax increases while smart don’t make sense to today’s Right. Again, they can’t add, which eventually even Reagan figured out, though he couldn’t save himself from the whopping deficits he ran up.
Pres. Reagan began with the National Debt at $1 trillion, but after 12 years of Republican incompetence it ended at $4-5 trillion. That’s nothing if you fast forward to George W. Bush, who left with a $10 trillion deficit, even considering he started with a $236 billion surplus from William Jefferson Clinton.
Today, Pres. Obama is so out of his depth on the budget he looks incompetent, because he’s digging in against the obvious. Now I didn’t vote for Obama on domestic issues, so I’m not surprised he’s been colossally bad on most fronts, while doing what any other Democratic president would do on others, which should require no applause for delivering the bare minimum. But if Obama does for Democrats on the budget what he did for the Left on health care it will set up the Right for ’12, just like health care set them up on the midterms.
Robert Reich, a former trustee of the Social Security Trust Fund, weighs in with the obvious fix:
So there’s no reason even to consider reducing Social Security benefits or raising the age of eligibility. The logical response to the increasing concentration of income at the top is simply to raise the ceiling.
Not incidentally, several months ago the White House considered proposing that the ceiling be lifted to $180,000. Somehow, though, that proposal didn’t make it into the President’s budget.
It didn’t make it into the budget because Bill Daley’s poll testing and Plouffe is calculating the odds on policy impacting reelection.
These guys have no guts. They’re not leaders. They’re the problem.