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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 15, 2013

 
From the "Headlines that Make You Want to Slit Your Wrists" Department

by David Atkins

Words fail:

Obama Called Their Bluff: Republicans Admit They Are Too Scared to Cut Social Security

No so-called Democrat should be able to write those words without drowning in unintended self-parodic irony.

Once again, offering to cut Social Security doesn't make any politician on either side of the aisle look reasonable. It makes them look heartless, ignorant and foolish. There are no prizes given out for a politician who offers to cut Social Security, dares the other guy to take him up on it, and wins the dare. Well, maybe David Brooks and Tom Friedman will give out points--albeit reluctantly--but those guys don't have a real constituency outside the Georgetown cocktail circuit. Daring the other guy to take you up on cutting Social Security makes you the "adult in the room" about as much as daring your friend to beat you in a game of Russian Roulette.

Anyone who think this little episode actually makes Democrats or the President look good has lost their mind. Anyone who thinks that this little episode will somehow hurt the Republican Party is deluding themselves. Republicans never intended to take the blame for cutting Social Security. They always intended to blame the President. And now they get to brag to their base that they stopped the President from cutting aid to seniors so that he could fund Obamaphones and "free stuff for those people."

And since Social Security cuts were never on the table until the President put them there, it's not like Social Security itself is in a better position than it was before. The Social Security cuts were the Republican demand in exchange for lifting the sequester. As of last report, the sequester still stands--which means that Republicans were basically holding sequester victims hostage to see if Democrats would be stupid enough to offer Social Security cuts. Meanwhile, if Republicans ever get back in total control of government, they won't cut Social Security. It would take a centrist Democrat to offer something that stupid. They'll just privatize it and say they expanded and strengthened it.

The world has gone mad. It's not the first time.


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