Best SOTU analysis
... goes to CNN
CUOMO: He said it would be deficit-neutral, though.
BORGER: He did say. And where is the money coming from? Question, minimum wage, you know, this is an increase in the minimum wage, has not kept track with inflation. How are we going to pay for these things? What's the price tag?
You learn something new every day. I didn't know that the minimum wage was a big contributor to the deficit. Now millions and millions of Americans assume that it does.
Good work CNN.
I didn't watch the speech until this morning. It sounded like many others and I hope that he follows through on some of it and that he doesn't follow through on some of it --- as usual. however, someone drew my attention to an interesting little (apparently spontaneous) change from the text:
After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?
After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? Why is that deficit reduction is a big emergency justifying cuts in Social Security benefits, but not closing some loopholes? How does that promote growth?
The larger point of that passage is, of course, that we must get some more chump change from closing loopholes and tax breaks (until the lobbyists find ways to open them again) if we're going to cut education, Medicare and Social Security. I'm not sure who he's holding that negotiation with, but the last time I looked the Republicans aren't the ones who keep insisting these things be on the menu. After all, the president could make this point by saying, "why would we choose to make deeper cuts to defense just to protect special interests? Why is it that deficit reduction is a big emergency justifying cuts in meat inspection and Head Start but not closing some loopholes?" That would at least represent the cuts that are actually in the sequester.
Anyway, we know that cutting SS and medicare in exchange for some illusory tax reform is the president's patented "balanced approach." It's telling, however, that he put Social Security in the speech when it wasn't in the text. I'd have to guess that they had haggled over whether it was smart to include it and he changed his mind at the last minute. Maybe that indicates some tension among his advisers about this. I hope so.