Joseph Kishore of wsws refers to the latest phase of Democrat/Republican budget skirmishing as a “dog and pony show”. The “big business” parties, Democrat and Republican, are united in ESSENTIALS -- the gutting of two programs, Social Security and Medicare, that have OVERWHELMING SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION.
After Obama’s SOTU message on February 12, 2013, Jill Stein, Green Party 2012 presidential candidate, addressed a national video audience with "Our Green State of the Union" assessment -- what Jill Stein herself called the “REAL state of our nation.”
We need a real discussion of where we are, so we can set our priorities right and secure the future for our imperiled families, communities, country and planet.
In a recent broadcast, Thom Hartmann makes a compelling argument why Democrats should allow Congress to jump of the “fiscal cliff” and allow the automatic tax and spending cuts to take place on December 31st (when the Bush tax cuts expire and automatic cuts to defense and domestic spending occur as stipulated in the Budget Control Act of 2011). Read below the fold...
Seriously, if you want to wipe out large numbers of people, why bother with entitlement cuts when you've got high-tech weaponry available? It's fast, impersonal, and you can just hose down whatever's left and voila! Problem solved!
Unfortunately, it looks like Obama prefers the slow, painful method of saving us from the debt.
Just because President Obama won another term doesn't mean that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are safe. Far from it. Obama's seeking a "grand bargain" with the Republican-controlled House by January 1.
Gang of Six -- Cartoon
Are you ready for some "shared sacrifice?"
DonkeyHotey photostream, flickr
[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this leak.]
White House Grand Bargain offer to Speaker Boehner
Obtained by Bob Woodward Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:58 AM EST
Below are documents obtained by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that show a grand bargain proposal the White House was prepared to make in July 2011, in order to reach agreement with the House Republicans last year. This is how Woodward described the documents on Meet the Press this morning:
"This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it's long and it's tedious and it's got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, "We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses." So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far."
I don't watch the Sunday morning political talk shows. Haven't for a couple years now. The only one I allow myself to watch sometimes is "Up" with Chris Hayes since ever once in awhile some actual alternative voice pops up like the wonderful Occupy the SEC woman whose name I can't remember. Read below the fold...
I ran across the Kaiser Health News piece referenced below, while I was researching another topic. The policy "reform" that this piece addresses hits home for me, since we currently reside in Tennessee. Read below the fold...
The following is a presidential address to the nation — to be delivered in March 2026.
My fellow Americans, I come to you today with a heavy heart. We have a crisis on our hands. It is one of our own making. And it is one that leaves us with no good choices.
For many years, our nation’s government has lived beyond its means.
A rookie, first year student mistake. Our real means are everything we can produce at full employment domestically plus whatever the rest of the world wants to net send us. The currency is the means for achieving this. Dollars are purely nominal and not the real resources. Read below the fold...
Well, maybe not "oops." More like "on purpose." And not Obama, personally, but his Administration. Words fail me, so I'll just quote from McClatchy:
By telling Arizona Tuesday it can effectively end Medicaid coverage of a quarter million people, the Obama administration has pointed out a potential escape hatch for other financially strapped states seeking to cut people from the program. ...
Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, says that the Obama administration is "walking that fine line of trying to be helpful [to states] but trying not to undermine health reform." [Ed. note: Bwahahaha! Stop! You're killing me!] ...
I was making a final pass through the day's news when I came across this piece of rank nuttery by Peter Orszag, the Times' newly hired gasbag. Orszag makes the claim that "states tend to rob education [as in state universities] to pay for Medicaid during economic downturns." Inadequate state funding not just of higher education but of education K-12 has been a scandal for decades. Curiously, state budgets contain other items besides just higher education and Medicaid. States, for example, have underfunded their pensions for years. They have let their infrastructure deteriorate. Read below the fold...
Ezra Klein is known as a bright young policy wonk who enlisted in the DC village, by becoming a blogger and correspondent for the Washington Post with a corner on the health care "reform" debate. Many of his writings have been very sophisticated analyses of one or more obscure feature of the House and Senate “reform” bills, which at the same time are careful to remain within the "village mainstream" of acceptable political prescriptions and advice to policy makers. Read below the fold...
“Medicaid rolls are surging, by unprecedented rates in some states, as the recession tightens its grip on the economy and Americans lose their employer-sponsored health coverage along with their jobs.” In many states, Medicaid rolls grew by 5 to 10 percent in the last year, often double the growth the previous year. Congress is likely to extend Medicaid aid to states in the upcoming stimulus package.
The move signals Obama’s intent to keep one of the most ambitious and politically crucial campaign promises at the top of his agenda. On the campaign trail, Obama pledged to provide universal health care by the end of his first term, but the severity of the economic downturn has raised doubts about how quickly he can deliver on that promise. Obama and his point person on health care, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, have staffed up like they plan to push forward with it, lining up a roster of communications and policy strategists to assist in the effort.
I wrote last week on a Tom Daschle statement that could be taken as a signal of which way Obama wants him to go: Read below the fold...