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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 14, 2013

 
Oh boy, is Washington ever confused right now

by digby

Apparently Republicans were shocked to find out that the President, really really, really wants to cut those damned entitlements.Of course he is:

President Obama is seeking to push Republicans to work with him on a grand deficit bargain by first assuring them he’s willing to cut entitlements, and then attempting to scrape off enough of them who will in turn agree to raise new revenues...

“He wanted us to believe he’s serious” about being willing to scale back the safety net, said Ribble. “There was nothing in there to make me believe he wasn’t.”

I think we all know that's the plan. Of course, it will require Nancy Pelosi to round up virtually every last Democrat so the Republicans don't have to take any responsibility for cutting popular programs for their constituents and raising taxes. And gosh, waddaya know?

"In terms of C.P.I., I have said let's take a look at that," [Pelosi] said at a weekly press briefing in Washington. "What is it -- there are elements in our party, who have said that we can do this without hurting the poor and the very elderly. So let's see what that is. There are others who are objecting to it plain and simple. I have to say if we can demonstrate that it doesn't hurt the poor and the very elderly, then let's take a look at it because compared to what? Compared to what? Compared to Republicans saying Medicare should wither on the vine? Social Security has no place in a free society? These are their words. These are their words."

Right, because if we don't pass the Chained-CPI Social Security will disappear. Awesome.

Meanwhile, in an interesting side-note, according to Greg Sargent, we are facing the possibility that the Democrats are going to run in 2014 on a "no new taxes" platform:

I’m told that national Democrats are planning to mount a major campaign to hammer Republican candidates — particularly ones in swing areas — over a specific aspect of the Paul Ryan budget: The possibility that it could result in middle class tax hikes.

... and the Republicans will run on "don't cut Medicare and Social Security":

“Obamacare took $716 billion from Medicare, a large portion of which came from the Medicare Advantage program which serves a great many seniors, and especially poor seniors,” Cruz said on the Senate floor. “According to the Office of the Actuary at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Medicare advantage cuts in Obamacare will reduce enrollment from 14.8 million to 7.4 million by 2017. It will cut it in half. Seven million people will lose their coverage under Medicare Advantage.” (The actuary also found that those who lose coverage under Medicare Advantage, an optional program under which seniors can receive coverage through a private insurer, would remain covered under traditional Medicare.)

“I would remind you the president said if you like your health insurance, you can keep it,” Cruz said. “Yet seven million seniors are losing Medicare Advantage.”

Anyone for an early cocktail?


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