Ezra Klein in one post
I have to quote Ezra's entire piece, because it's so short:
This is pretty much the Republican Party in one tweet:
Today’s Republican Party thinks the key problem America faces is out-of-control entitlement spending. But cutting entitlement spending is unpopular and the GOP’s coalition relies heavily on seniors. And so they don’t want to propose entitlement cuts. If possible, they’d even like to attack President Obama for proposing entitlement cuts. But they also want to see entitlements cut and will refuse to solve the fiscal cliff or raise the debt ceiling unless there are entitlement cuts.
Except Rubio is correct: Obama's been proposing Social Security cuts since 2007, and he came out in favor of chaiined CPI on Meet the Press the Sunday before Klein's Monday post.
For whatever reason -- nobody actually hears what Obama says, or everybody's covering for him -- the Republicans are universally portrayed as having been forced to take Social Security cuts off the table, When it was Onama who put them there.
NOTE I suppose "he's smarter than you" and because 11-dimensional chess. What I know is that Social Security should never have been on the table to begin with. The only humane policy is:
1. No cuts to social insurance programs
2. Any cost savings to be returned to beneficiaries as increased services
3. Age-neutral benefit structure so young people don't get screwed
4. Eligibility starts at 60 so young people get those jpbs
UPDATE Klein's newer story:
Reid blamed McConnell for the impasse Sunday, saying Republicans were insisting on a change in the way inflation is measured that would serve to reduce Social Security benefits — a red flag for Democrats. Early in the day, Democratic aides described McConnell’s continued insistence on the change, known as “chained CPI,” as a “major setback.”
“At some point in the negotiating process, it becomes obvious when the other side is intentionally demanding concessions they know the other side’s not willing to make,” Reid said in a speech on the Senate floor.
McConnell countered by accusing Reid of “political gamesmanship” and announcing that he had telephoned Biden, opening up his own line of communication with the White House.
“I’m interested in a result here. And I’m willing to work with whomever can help,” McConnell said. “There is no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. The sticking point appears to be a willingness, an interest, or courage to close the deal.”
Later, after consulting with fellow Republicans, McConnell agreed to take Social Security off the table.
The decision cheered Democrats. Obama had offered to include chained CPI in the big deficit-reduction package he had been negotiating with Boehner earlier this month. Obama endorsed the idea again Sunday, in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” calling it a tough decision he was willing to make “in pursuit of strengthening Social Security for the long term.”
But many Democrats say they would go along with the idea only as part of a far-reaching deal that also included at least $1.2 trillion in new tax revenue over the next decade. The deal under discussion Sunday would raise far less than that, somewhere between $600 billion and $800 billion.