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Hullabaloo


Thursday, February 20, 2014

 
Huzzah!No Grand Bargain in the budget proposal!

by digby

It shouldn't take this much effort to keep a Democratic president from selling out the Democratic party's signature achievements, but whatever it takes, it's worth it:
The White House says President Barack Obama's upcoming budget proposal will not include his past offer to accept lowered cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. Those had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy.

Officials said Thursday that those potential reductions in spending, included in last year's Obama budget, had been designed to initiate negotiations with Republicans over how to reduce future deficits and the nation's debt. But Republicans never accepted Obama's calls for higher tax revenue to go along with the cuts.

One official said the offer would remain on the table in the event of new budget talks but that it would not be part of the president's formal spending blueprint for fiscal 2015.

The official was not authorized to comment by name on the budget plan before its March 4 release and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The decision to drop the cost-of-living proposal was essentially an acknowledgement that Obama has been unable to conclude a "grand budget bargain" with Republican leaders, even by including in his previous budget plan a benefit reduction opposed by many Democrats.

While Democrats will cheer the new decision, Republicans are sure to portray the White House move as abandoning any commitment to fiscal discipline.

Who cares? They'll kvetch no matter what. And they'll probably still run ads claiming that Democrats want to cut social security. But at least it won't have the virtue of being true.

Now, how about proposing the raise benefits? If we want to kill this zombie once and for all, that should be the Democratic Party baseline going forward.


*I don't know if it had anything to do with it, but the House of Cards plot line about devious Democrats muscling the congress into "entitlement reform" may have hit a little bit too close to home. The cynical callousness, the rank manipulation of the weak and guilt-ridden liberals, the claiming of victory for making people suffer all rang pretty true to me....



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