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Here Comes The First Pre-Inaugural Cry To "Marginalize The Liberals"

Alexa's picture

Received this tweet from Bloomberg View the other day. I have long ascribed to the notion that the real news is the news that is reported by the business press, so I "follow" a number of these news outlets.

Here come the angry Democrats, just in time for Obama's 2nd inauguration | http://t.co/hi7Xvlv0
@BloombergView
Bloomberg View

Hey, aren't you slipping a bit, Jonathan. Heck, took you almost two months after Obama's reelection to go into full attack mode against the liberal activist faction of the Democratic Party. But, enough snark.

Here's an excerpt from faux-liberal, and stalwart Democratic Party shill, Jonathan Alter's piece entitled, "Liberals Nip Obama As He Battles Republicans." And here's the link to the piece.

Liberals Nip Obama As He Battle Republicans

Dateline: Jan 3, 2013 5:30 PM CT, Bloomberg Opinion, By Jonathan Alter.

You can already hear the rumbling in the distance -- a train of noisy liberal Democrats barreling straight for the White House. They should arrive just in time for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. . . .

The president already has his hands full dealing with angry and unrealistic Republicans. Now he’s getting reacquainted with their counterparts on the left -- a less ideologically inflexible bunch but not necessarily any more susceptible to reason. . . .

Now we’re about to see such imperfection under assault again. While Obama won strong Democratic backing for the so- called fiscal-cliff deal in both the Senate and the House, a chorus of liberal critics rose up to condemn his compromises.

They were particularly incensed that he agreed to raise the threshold on income subject to a higher tax rate from his oft- stated preference of $250,000 per family to $450,000 per family. Some news stories reported that Obama broke a campaign promise by abandoning the $250,000 level.

A few liberals even complained that Obama violated his principles by compromising. They must not have listened to him all year. One of his most important -- and most frequently stated -- principles is that compromise is essential to governing. . . .

Entitlement Adjustment [Here's the real point of Alter's piece.]

Just as Republicans must learn to live with tax increases, Democrats must learn to live with -- and vote for -- changes in entitlements. They should keep in mind that reforms such as a chained consumer price index, which alters the inflation calculation applied to Social Security, and means testing the benefits of wealthy retirees, do not threaten the social safety net.

Neither Franklin Roosevelt on Social Security nor Lyndon Johnson on Medicare was wedded to any of the particulars of those programs -- only the principle of guaranteed support from the government.

The road ahead is paved with compromises that many Democrats won’t like. The president will stick to his refusal to negotiate with Republicans who want to hold an increase in the debt ceiling hostage to spending cuts. But he will have to negotiate over the sequester -- the $1.2 trillion in cuts to defense and domestic programs scheduled to take effect in two months.

Decoupling the debt ceiling from the sequester will be daunting, if not impossible. Even if Obama succeeds, he will have to agree to cuts to entitlements or discretionary programs, a course many liberals oppose. They haven’t forgotten how Obama almost betrayed their interests in the failed “Grand Bargain” talks in July of last year.

If liberals are disappointed in Obama’s fiscal-cliff deal, imagine how they will feel in late February when he starts making tough choices on spending cuts. Liberals need to think harder about what their own long-term deficit reduction plan would be. Raising more revenue is necessary. It’s not sufficient

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Yeah, what took you so long, Jonathan? Entitlement Adjustments, indeed!

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Comments

Submitted by Hugh on

It's important to recognize that Alter is not an idiot but a willing, even enthusiastic tool of the looters. He is one of their propagandists. As such, he is as criminal as the looters themselves. What he writes isn't drivel. It's carefully calibrated poison.

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Submitted by athena1 on

This is just a slightly more clever form of wingnut welfare.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Senator Al Franken's radio show (on Air America), and I didn't like him then, any more than I like him now.

No one defends the corporatist agenda better than Jonathan Alter. Heck, I was hoping that he'd just go away, after Newsweek folded.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

According to Alter:

Just as Republicans must learn to live with tax increases, Democrats must learn to live with -- and vote for -- changes in entitlements.

A pretty lousy argument, if you ask me. The tax increases apply to incomes in the $400K range and up. And they are miniscule -- $46 out of every $1K in income above $400/450k. So these people are already earning roughly $8K per week, or $32K per month. Now they have to contribute about $46 out of every additional $1K they earn.

Compare that to someone on SS, with an average income of $1230 per month. Using the chained CPI would result in a benefit reduction of roughly 5 percent. So not only is the hit on SS recipients higher than the tax increases on the wealthy, but proportionally it's much more painful.

Plus, the dickheads who insist this is the way to go seldom mention the savings created by using chained CPI -- probably because they're so ridiculously tiny, according to the CBO.

Earlier this year, the CBO estimated that if the federal government had moved to the chained-CPI on Jan. 1 2012, it would save more than $220 billion over 10 years. The net savings would be considerably lower if Congress adopts measures to soften the blow to the most vulnerable Social Security recipients.

Wow, $20B a year, kiss the deficit goodbye, huh? Whatever will we do with all that surplus cash? And to think the old-timers have been squandering it on things like food, rent, and medicine?

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