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Take This Deal and Shove It

President Barack Obama works with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Dec. 17, 2012. Standing, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

And Mr. Obama is sticking by his request for additional upfront spending on infrastructure and an extension of expiring unemployment benefits. He would also secure some tax and policy changes long sought by both parties but unattainable in the context of smaller budget deals. His proposal would permanently extend popular business tax breaks like the credit for corporate research and development, permanently stop the expansion of the alternative minimum tax so it does not affect more of the middle class, and stop a long-planned and deep cut to Medicare health providers, which Congress has never had the stomach to allow to kick in. [New York Times]

PRESIDENT OBAMA has got to be kidding, but no one is laughing so he’s obviously not. If congressional progressives in the Democratic Party suck what’s being reported down they’ve joined the feckless tool rank of the political establishment.

From Ezra Klein:

On the spending side, the Democrats’ headline concession will be accepting chained-CPI, which is to say, accepting a cut to Social Security benefits. Beyond that, the negotiators will agree to targets for spending cuts. Expect the final number here, too, to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion, but also expect it to lack many specifics. Whether the cuts come from Medicare or Medicaid, whether they include raising the Medicare age, and many of the other contentious issues in the talks will be left up to Congress.

The deal will lift the spending sequester, but it will be backed up by, yes, another sequester-like policy. I’m told that the details on this next sequester haven’t been worked out yet, but the governing theory is that it should be more reasonable than the current sequester. That is to say, if the two parties can’t agree on something better, then this should be a policy they’re willing to live with.

On stimulus, unemployment insurance will be extended, as will the refundable tax credits. Some amount of infrastructure spending is likely. Perversely, the payroll tax cut, one of the most stimulative policies in the fiscal cliff, will likely be allowed to lapse, which will deal a big blow to the economy.

As for Pentagon cuts, they’re hidden under a unicorn in an addendum you’ll find after a wild goose chase.

Okay, so it’s not that opaque. Obama’s new deal calls for $100 billion in defense cuts, while his cave on Social Security is $30 billion more than that.

See Dean Baker’s post on the chained CPI if you don’t believe me.

But Speaker Boehner is still not happy, according to an email sent to Sam Stein of Huffington Post.

Any movement away from the unrealistic offers the President has made previously is a step in the right direction, but a proposal that includes $1.3 trillion in revenue for only $930 billion in spending cuts cannot be considered balanced. We hope to continue discussions with the President so we can reach an agreement that is truly balanced and begins to solve our spending problem.

That was after President Obama offered to go from the $250,000 ceiling to a permanent tax cut for families making under $400,000 instead, something over which I won’t quibble.

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19 Responses to Take This Deal and Shove It

  1. oleeb December 18, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Anyone with clear vision could see this crap coming a year ago. Obama has been eager to agree to cuts to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for very little. Remember, it isn’t as though the Catfood Comission was something he ever condemned: in fact he was one of the very few supporters of it. After the Catfood Commission recommendations had been killed he tried at least twice to revive them. That was the real problem with this election for most conscious Democrats as they knew voting for Obama was really just voting for Romney lite just as a vote for him in 2008 was a vote for the McCain agenda. Looking back it’s clear he abandoned almost everything he said during the campaign regarding the “war on terror”, civil liberty, and so on and instead adopted and implemented everything McCain had pledged to do in that whole policy area. He had told the country he was for no ceiling on Social Security taxes when he opposed Hillary for the nomination but since his election we’ve heard not a peep on this idea which would obviate the need for cutting the program’s benefits. He said that EFCA would be his number one legislative priority and almost instantly abandoned it. In fact, he never lifted a finger to attempt to get it even heard in committe let alone passed by Congress. The real test for the dwindling number of real Democrats in Congress is not what they stand for so much as whether or not they stand for anything at all other than the latest deal. If the remaining Democratic progressives fail to stop the cuts to the very bedrock of the Democratic Party’s philosophy and promise to the American people then we know once and for all they, like our President, really don’t have any values at all that are fixed and worth fighting for. All they are really for is maintaining their power and seeing what they themselves can get out of the latest deal in DC. Cynical? Indeed. But sadly, I think quite true.

  2. TPAZ December 18, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    It’s time – to cave.

  3. fangio December 18, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    The Eisenhower republican strikes, and the shank goes in deep, deep into the Obamabot’s backs. ” Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for your legacy. “

  4. Art Pronin December 18, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    The day of reckoning is now very near. What a sweetheart deal for Boehner- he gets to hol ddebt ceiling hostage in 2 yrs, gets ss cuts etc which means GOP will cream dem s for many an election by running on chained cpi’s destruction.
    For those who dont know Im on SSDI and SSI. Im on the safety net. The naguish these fools in DC have caused me and thousands of others is inexecusible and cruel.
    I have little hope it can be stopped- but it might. I have to have a little hope. The AARP has been doing a great job informing members about chianed cpi and contact info for reps. Labor as well. MoveOn. even the VFW is in the act sending out to its members a letter they sent to potus etc asking chained cpi not be used bc of vet cuts. But all are ignored.
    Just the thought of the news on tv blaring this deal you would think would upset many a people. Would think that is.
    Will reid stand up and say no to cutting SS as he promised for 4 yrs now ? Will Sens Merkley and Sanders fight if Medicare cuts are in it as promised?
    There damned well better be a fight. A fight that if so breaks the dem party. Such a deal extinguishes hatever is left of that party.
    Maybe the tea party will kill it -again. Let there be areal fight will a fillibuster etc. For the sake of the future and our own dignity.

    • TPAZ December 18, 2012 at 3:04 am #

      A video confession of a moderate Republian inside the Democratic Party


  5. ladywalker68 December 18, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Well, if this is the deal that goes through, the Democrats can kiss goodbye any enthusiasm or turnout in the 2014 midterms. They will never get my vote again.

    • TPAZ December 18, 2012 at 7:12 am #

      Ladywalker, the DNC know that you are bluffing. Do you have the heart to screw them like they are screwing us? Do you think after McCain and Romney that a Prince Charming of the GOP will appear? You have three choices; kiss frog #1, kiss frog #2, stop kissing. Our political system prevents frog #3.

      • ladywalker68 December 18, 2012 at 7:23 am #

        TPAZ–I just had to laugh, but the truth is it is not really funny. Thanks though! The truth can be funny and hurt a the same time.

        It appears as if the elections between the 2 parties are becoming statements on social issues only. I knew that Obama was out to screw with Social Security, he seems to be obsessed with “fixing” it, as in fixing something that isn’t broken. I don’t understand what is up with that but it has been on his hit list for a long time.

        Both the Democrats and Republicans are working to line the pockets of corporations and the wealthy. Neither party really cares about the middle class or those who are aging.

        The only difference is that Obama doesn’t seem to hate women and gays, and I guess that is something. That is the only difference. I really don’t think he cares about seniors very much. Children, yes. Seniors, no.

      • jjamele December 18, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        Seriously, the Democratic Party has heard this “If you betray me ONE MORE TIME” nonsense for so many years, I don’t blame it’s leadership if it just nods thoughtfully and then chuckles in private while screwing us over again.

        The Party JUST PROVED that “Lesser of Two Evils” is a winning slogan. After Citizens United, it doesn’t need our nickles and dimes anymore. Frog #3 is invisible to most voters. We are expected to do what MSNBC says- Lean Forward, and Take It. Hard. My guess is, we will continue to do just that.

        • Cujo359 December 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

          Only when they start losing support from a significant portion of progressives will they take those threats seriously. (Clearly, the one out of ten of us who voted for Nader weren’t enough – nor should it have been.) Like you, I have no reason to think that will happen anytime soon.

  6. Joyce Arnold December 18, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Obama being Obama, again. No surprises.

    • Taylor Marsh December 18, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      I told everyone this was coming long, long ago.

      If congressional progressives don’t walk on this people should start a walk out from the Democratic Party.

      A woman from American Progress was on this morning with Chuck Todd saying the cuts to entitlements were expected so no one is shocked.

      Well, she’s half right: they were expected, predicated actually, by people like me, but not in the way she thinks.

  7. Ramsgate December 18, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Absolutely astonishing, but not surprising. He caved so quickly, when he didn’t really have to.
    The Repugs have got him now.

  8. jjamele December 18, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Where’s Solo??

  9. mjsmith December 18, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    “It is not really a good comprimise unless both sides are unhappy. ”

    Cut spending is the way to go. A tax increase combined with spending cuts is the olde 1-2 that never works out the way it is presented. At least as far as I know the tax hikes combined with spending cuts only created higher taxes and increased spending.

  10. LiberalJoe December 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I just finished calling my my current Congressperson-Carolyn Maloney, my future Congressperson-Joseph Crowley(redistricted to him) and Senator Gilibrand’s office. Got through to all of them. Couldn’t get thru to Chuckles the Clown Schumer-he has the worst telephone response team, both in DC and local in NYC.

    I called to register my displeasure with what we are led to believe is the deal. i told them that the should vote against the deal and that they should tell the President to shove this deal up his ass-my exact words. That If I wanted this deal i would have voted for Romney, that if they think the Dems can run and win on this deal in 2014 then good luck with that because it won’t happen. I asked who won the fricking election? The response by the aides taking my comments and my name-I always give it -was very calm and they appeared to have expected this reaction.One even sounded as frustrated as I was.

    The Pres gave Boehner his Christmas gifts early. Unf*^%$#g believable.

    This President couldn’t negotiate change at a supermarket checkout counter.

    • Taylor Marsh December 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      This President couldn’t negotiate change at a supermarket checkout counter.


  11. Ramsgate December 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    They have nothing to fear LJ and they know it as we do not primary our people.

    • LiberalJoe December 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Very true Ramsgate.

      No reason to be a Dem if they can’t protect the poor and middle class. Green Party looking better everyday.

      We know the House Dems can’t stop this crap sandwich, they are in the minority. They should all vote no and let the Repubs own the cuts. The hope is the Senate where the Dems in move filled with poetic justice – filibuster the deal to kill it for our very moderate Republican President.

      My bet is that Gillibrand votes No, Schumer -he’ll drive the deal through himself that POS.

      God this party is pitiful.

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