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Run, don't walk, to your Senators' and Rep's district office and tell them NO

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Obama Budget to Include Cuts to Programs in Hopes of Deal

WASHINGTON — President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say.

You can find the location of their district office on their website. We need people to actually make physical visits and tell their staff that we paid for our benefits and we want to receive them. Tell them we don't give a damn about the deficit or any deal, we need our retirement and health care. Physical visits to an office are the gold standard in lobbying and we need a river of people to let them know that social security really is the third rail of American politics.

Jackie Calmes still has not caught on to Obama's con:

The administration’s hope is to create cracks in Republicans’ antitax resistance, especially in the Senate, as constituents complain about the across-the-board cuts in military and domestic programs that took effect March 1.

Mr. Obama’s proposed deficit reduction would replace those cuts. And if Republicans continue to resist the president, the White House believes that most Americans will blame them for the fiscal paralysis.

Since the beginning of his presidency Obama has been attacking social security. He wants to cut it and blame the Republicans. That has been the plan from the very beginning.

Joshua Micah Marshall is still drinking the Kool Aide:

Second, on the politics, President Obama and his advisors have made clear this isn’t what President Obama is actually for. He doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Reminder to Marshall and his fellow Kool Aide drinkers, Obama has been attacking social security since 2006. He is University of Chicago shock doctrine disaster capitalism enemy of the 99%.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Submitted by chadwick newsome on

Yeah, these people really need to hear from us. En masse. I mean a whole boat load of us. I think it is equally important for us to tell everyone we know what is going on. There are an amazing number of low-and-moderate info people out there, including some fairly smart ones. The corruption of corporate news media hath taken a tole.

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Submitted by DCblogger on

somebody is calling their rep

This will weigh on Democrats at a time when they need public support to take back the House of Representatives in 2014, putting them through what Grijalva described as “agony.”

Cutting against that will be the reaction from the public, particularly senior citizens. “We open our (district office) at 8am,” he said. “We had the first recorded call at 6:30.”

If we keep the pressure up the Dems will stay where the votes are. Visit their district office in person.

Submitted by jawbone on

clearly not a new stand for Obama even in April of 2006.

It is a core belief, probably learned from his wealthy donors fairly early on in his indoctrination into the fundamental beliefs of the Corporatist Powers That Be and Big Money.

He was tipped to be president because he could be trusted to implement their programs.

Is there anything at all earlier on record for Obama's stand on SS/Medicare cuts?

I haven't listened to the whole thing yet (gad, but he sure is a slow talkin' guy), but he's already on to the need for lower standards of living due to globalization. Yup, not how to raise the working and middle classes, but how to cut their incomes.

Submitted by jawbone on

“The forces of globalization have changed the rules of the game.”

“The coming baby boomer retirement will only add to the challenges.”

“Too many of us [on the left] have been interested in defending programs the way they were written in 1938[.]“

“Most of us are strong free-traders.”

More good info at this link:

Dang, how the American public as snookered!

Submitted by lambert on

... a number of times, and I'm not sure whether it's bafflegab or code (or both).

"This is not a bloodless process" is really quite striking, but I'm more interested in:

  • "what actually works"
  • "really works"
  • "neither of these approaches"

He gives no examples, and doesn't define what "works" or for whom. Presumably, he means "free trade" and "markets" because that's what everyone in the room believes. But he doesn't say that.

It's a very curious speech.

Submitted by jawbone on

as befits a neophyte senator considering a run for the presidency.

Baby Boomers are the cause of large problems. Changes and modernization needed due to retirement of these large numbers of Boomers. Nothing said too explicity, but, in hindsight, it was all there, just what he's been offering the Repubs since he took the presidency.

This is such a typical Obama public speech: All the trappings of concern, but no calls for remedies. Except "change" -- "hope" to be supplied by the listener. That whatever change Obama implemented would hopefully good for the regular voters.

But had Obama been open and clear, he would never have been the Dem nominee.

Gaius Publius links to the Ken Silverstein Harper's article, which is summarized by pointing out Obama drapes himself in the language of the left on green issues, but gives very, very few details. And, the only clear objective called for by Obama is...tad dah!... increased ethanol support... just what his Corporate masters want.

Any way to copy from the Brooking's PDF?

Submitted by jawbone on

For those of us on the left, and I include myself in that category, too many of us have been interested in defending programs the way they were written in 1938, believing that if we admit the need to modernize these programs to fit changing times, then the other side will use those acknowledgements to destroy them altogether. On the right, there is a tendency to push for massive tax cuts, as Peter [Orszag] mentioned from my speech at Knox College, no matter what the cost or who the target is, a view that stems from the belief that there is no role for government whatsoever in the challenges we face. Of course, neither of these approaches really works.

~~~~From the PDF linked to at

I think we can safely say that Obama has been using these ideas, often the same words, ever since he went big politically. And probably well before. So they were all there for the Wall Street Big Money crowd to see and hear early on and know where Obama intended to go concerning the great social safety net programs of FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society. They did not trust Hillary to do their bidding, but they knew Obama would. And, wow, he really has been intrepid in going after that program from 1938 and then the one from 1965.

Obama clearly identifies himself as being "on the left" in the first two phrases of the paragraph. then takes a swing directly at SocSec, one of those 1938 [so very old fashioned!] programs.

1938!! So very long ago.... Well, that sets him up to raise the age of full SocSec payments, as St Ronnie and Tip did earlier, because everyone knows people are living so much long and with more years of good health, so they can work longer. Same for Medicare, eh? But he doesn't say so.

Then he sets up a false dichotomy, between ever so sweetly sensible modernizations and changes which break from the chains of the past and the right's overwhelming desire for nothing but massive tax cuts.

But he is coming from the right, from the Corportist playbook, while trying to fool the public into seeing him as a liberal and true defender of the left. [As he did on his profit protection plan for for-profit private insurance companies during his "debate" about mandated health insurance.]

And the coup de grace: "Of course, neither of these approaches really works."

Let's see. The only program which is dependably there for all eligible seniors is...SocSec. The only program which is dependably there for the survivors of all those paying into FICA is...SocSec. The only program which is dependably there for the disabled (may take several applications, however) is SSDI. They WORK. They should be more generous, but, of what's out there, they WORK.

As does Medicare, and had both programs been extended and actually improved, we would have everyone in this nation on Medicare for All right now, no one left out -- and with no questions about whether SocSec would "be there" for the younger generations.

So, Obama lied. Deliberately and cruelly.

But, the speech is so cleverly worded that Obama has plausible deniability that he would ever damage SocSec (and Medicare) and it's so very hard to pin him down as to what he would actually DO. We criticized him based on what we knew of his actions, but only the occasional slip of allowing a citizen journalist to catch his words to the private very, very big donors put Obama on the record. And by then it was too late; tenough of he public had been mesmerized and completely fooled.

Hallmark of his political career. He is clear about what he will do when addressing his Corporatist masters and donors, then works very hard to bamboozle the public.

Thus, this speech, while indicative of his true thinking, is not a silver bullet. Even this will not persuade the still deluded.

Will his new budget and his lies about that?

Submitted by jawbone on

to the Hamilton Group initial meeting. To tie that post together with this one.

I'm not sure if this is on Corrente, but I wanted to make it easier to find for myself.

UPDATE: Well, of course, lambert posted it here at Corrente:

It's chock full of good links one will need as Obama tries over and over and over to make his desired cuts to SocSec and Medicare.

Submitted by jawbone on

speaking at the opening meeting of The Hamilton Project.

Reading Tiny Revolution made me cringe because this was knowable to everyone before Obama won the nomination. I recall trying to find out more about this somewhat nebulous young senator, googling and googling and not finding anything like this. But I guess I didn't make it to the last page of the google links? Ack.

I did find enough to make me highly skeptical of his being an actual Democrat and I couldn't vote for him. But voters deserve better. Damn Barry and damn the MCM, one more example of it being complicit in hoodwinking us the voters.

Tiny Revolution's take is well worth reading.

Submitted by lambert on

This comment is interesting:

As for the actual group, Sirota is overreacting. I downloaded the 102 megabyte webcast, and am about halfway through watching it. It's actually a pretty decent effort to persuade economic elites that their long term interests are contingent on the economic plight of workers. And they're right -- current wealth and income inequalities are unsustainable, the administration's unwavering catering to the rich is quickly undermining the economic and social stability the rich need to sustain their wealth.

I think the elites bet the other way. The thing is, they're bad betters, as the crash shows. Unless they can get bailed out. Again.

Submitted by jawbone on

I hope this link will work here, as it did on the Americablog post (it does!) -- I tried once and was challenged. WaPo now doing paywall? If you can't use the link here, go to Gaius Publius's post.

Anyway, Meyerson --per Wiki, "an avowed democratic socialist," one of two in DC, the other being Bernie Sanders-- takes rather careful aim at what he criticizes about the Hamilton Group and its leadership. He says they do point out correctly and adequately many of the problems in our economy as of mid-Oughts. But he fleshes out the parts of their approach which they wish to keep on the down low. Yes, stagnant income. But it's the fault of teachers' unions, not greedy banksters or corporations. Somehow.

Good article, go read what Peter Orszag, Roger Altman, and Robert Rubin were saying in '06. And what Barry was very comfortable with as well. Peter Peterson wasn't id'd as being there, but he's been pretty tight with Obama since then...even tho' he wears the R team's colors.

It's come to this: The chief project to restate Democratic economics for our time was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, and it's named after the father of American conservatism, Alexander Hamilton.


Much of what Rubin and his co-authors have to say in their statement is on the money. Since the mid-'70s, they note, "prosperity has neither trickled down nor rippled outward." They acknowledge that recapturing broadly shared prosperity in an age of globalization is a daunting conundrum. Still, they have some recommendations: Balance the budget (a principle they elevate to a fetish). Have the government invest more in "education, health care, energy independence, scientific research, and infrastructure," since market forces "will not generate adequate investments" in such social essentials. Provide compensatory wage insurance for the many workers forced to take lower-paying jobs as middle-income jobs grow scarcer.

Unfortunately, some of Hamilton's disdain for democracy seeps into their statement as well. The problem of "entitlement imbalances is so large," they fret, "that the regular political process seems unlikely to produce a solution," so they recommend a bipartisan "special process" insulated from popular pressures. They also place such traditional Republican boogeymen as teachers unions on the list of problems that need to be solved. On the other hand, their list of national problems includes nothing about a corporate and financial culture that richly and reflexively rewards executives who offshore work to cheaper climes and deny their American employees the right to join unions.

Indeed, much of their statement amounts to whistling by the globalization graveyard. The authors place great stress on improving American education -- a commendable and unexceptionable goal, but one that may do little to retard the export of our jobs since, as they acknowledge, it's increasingly the knowledge jobs that are going to India and even China. But then, Rubin was the guy who promoted both NAFTA and unfettered trade with China. In a sense, the Hamilton Project can be seen as Rubin's sincere but inadequate attempt to grapple with the consequences of the policies he championed. Like the side agreements to NAFTA, which were advertised as protecting worker rights and environmental standards but which in fact did neither, the Hamilton Project comes up short on genuine solutions. There's nothing in the statement about raising the minimum wage or mandating a living wage; the word "unions" is nowhere to be found, though unionizing our non-offshorable service sector jobs is the surest way to restore the broader prosperity for which Rubin and his co-authors pine.

What the Democrats need is a project that takes as hard a look at corporate boardrooms as the Hamiltonians do at teachers unions. For, so long as our problem is at least partly American capitalism's indifference to American workers, the Democrats won't find a solution in the example of Alexander Hamilton or the muffled cadences of Robert Rubin. (still true, my emphasis)

Sounds like Life in These United States under Obama, right?

Submitted by jawbone on

Via wigwam 's comment at FDL post on 4/6/2006 Obama speech to Hamilton Project by proberto6.

He links to a post at Your Black World that notes that the Hamilton Project essentially shut down when Obama won the presidency and brought...most of the Hamilton Project Neolib Corporatists into his administration....

Great quote from Pascal Robert's post:

African American Political Science Professor Adolph Reed, Jr. was the first person to realize what Obama was way back in 1996 shortly after Obama won his first Illinois state senate race:

“In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds.His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program — the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics, as in Haiti and wherever else the International Monetary Fund has sway. So far the black activist response hasn’t been up to the challenge. We have to do better.”

“The Curse of Community,” Village Voice, January 16, 1996–reprinted in
Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other200 Thoughts on the American Scene
(New Press, 2000) (My emphasis)

I'm also placing this at DCBlogger's "Run, Don't Walk to Your Reps" post about Obama's April, 2013 release of his budget including cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid..