Columnist Michael Grunwald, in a recent TIME article (April 1, p. 18, 'Give In to the Irrational GOP') claims to have the best solution to our continued national kerfuffle over finances, spending and tax cuts. His recommendation to Obama? Give in to the GOP! Insist on no further tax increases or even closing of tax loopholes for the richest, even though the Reepos will still maintain Social Security cuts be brought forth - despite the fact Social Security didn't contribute a dime to the deficit, and in fact, shameless congressional porkers and pirates have relentlessly raided it to hide the magnitude of the actual deficit!
According to Grunwald ( who concedes we "don't live in a rational world" - but nonetheless appears ready to mandate we all dive head first into an irrational one!):
"The only way Obama could fulfill the punditocracy's dreams of bipartisan agreement would be to drop his demand for new revenues and cave to the tax-phobic Republicans he thumped in November."
Oh really, sonny? Then one might call that November victory useless! Despite a clear choice of the majority of the people, who more than once in polls demanded higher taxes on the rich and NO meddling with Social Security, or Medicare, then Obama is justified in betraying them!
Grunwald goes on to add, disclosing he's a true pundit whore of the Neoliberal Elites:
"So he should cave- not to appease the chattering classes or show the country he's open to compromise. He should cave to ease pain, advance his agenda and improve the country in tangible ways."
Which, of course, is abject nonsense! Because if he caves, and bear in mind among true liberal circles he's already seen as a wuss, then it would mean even harsher social insurance cuts to make up for the lost revenue via taxes.
And we know the Neoliberal Enclave of Whores in D.C. is panting for "entitlement cuts"! Or as salon.com Michael Lind recently put it:
"Calling for combining cuts in Social Security with more tax giveaways for savings, mostly to the rich, proves that politicians are Very Serious People to their Wall Street donors and to the mainstream media pundits who lionize the conservative deficit hawks Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles."
Oh, and they also lionize the whore front groups like 'Fix the Debt' with their whore front men, such as Ed Rendell, Ernest Bowles and Alice Rivlin. All of them under the puppet strings of billiionaire Peter G. Peterson, e.g. see www.petersonPyramid.org. As Lind notes about 'Fix the debt':
"FixtheDebt, is one of the “astroturf” (faux-grass roots) anti-entitlement front groups created by right-wing billionaire Pete Peterson and funded by corporations, many of them in the finance industry, is spending tens of millions of dollars in a short time to pressure the public and lawmakers into cutting Social Security and Medicare"
As Felix Salmon noted of the FixtheDebt manifesto (by the front group’s allied CEOs- e.g. see the peterson.org link) , “the letter basically just says ‘please cut our taxes, raise taxes on everybody else, and cut the benefits they get from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security"
Worse, of course, is how faux liberals aka "progressives" are meekly playing into the paws of these rats. Lind again, portrays it to a pathetic tee:
"The conservatives and libertarians demand that Social Security be completely abolished. Progressives reply, “Please don’t abolish Social Security completely — would you please consider letting us help you cut it instead?” Playing the role of the wimpy progressive begging for mercy from the hard right, President Barack Obama reportedly may call for cutting Social Security for 80- and 90-year-olds by means of “chained CPI” in his forthcoming budget."
Of course, if Obama is so lame and strupid as to do that, he will forever undercut his profile (and legacy) in the eyes of liberals who reluctantly went "all in" with him in the last election (somehow suspecting he might renege on promises made), while soiling Democratic election prospects for at least another generation. Indeed, as I already noted, the Democratic Party has paid a huge price just for talking about Social Security cuts. A Social Security Works poll has shown that the party suffered a stunning 25-point plunge in public confidence between 2005 and 2010 on its ability to do a better job than its opposition to protect the program.
Are the Dems such weak, forlorn wusses that they really wish to go this route? And enrage most of their left base in perpetuity? Or, do they think that base will always fall in line when the next presidential campaign arrives. Well, they better think again!
As Lind correctly observes:
"Cutting Social Security is backdoor privatization — and a bonanza for Wall Street money managers. Cuts in promised Social Security benefits, whether from chained CPI, a higher retirement age, or means-testing, will force middle-class and working-class Americans to try to save even more money in the tax-favored private savings accounts like 401Ks so beloved by the Wall Street financiers who fund both Democrats and Republicans."
Sadly, it is Neoliberal Business patronage that has contaminated and ruined the Democratic Party, as it has the other corporate (Reepo) party. The Dems have merely disguised it better, but every now and then - especially in the heat of a presidential campaign season - a network crew will bust into a lobby -funded "gala" and show our reps hob nobbing with their CEO -corporate paymasters.
As for Grunwald, he does get one thing right in his piece, noting the Reeps "have offered some flexibility to make cuts....hoping he will be blamed later for making the unpopular ones."
Well, HE will indeed be blamed, if he chooses to cut Social Security.
Anyway, Grunwald goes on to say:
"Fine! Obama can whack programs that don't promote his priorities, like fossil fuel subsidies and sprawl roads; and he can demand back-loaded cuts that won't kill jobs now."
This is okay as far as it goes - but he needs to bear in mind, despite the braying Neoliberal media - that Social Security and Medicare are part of his priorities. What he really ought to be cutting is the military, and ordering every last manjack out of Afghanistan NOW, as opposed to pissing another trillion down the toilet by the end of next year!