Friday, July 08, 2011

Obama, who opposes Social Security and Medicare, offers more surrender to the Republicans

President Obama, who opposes Social Security and Medicare, is now signalling to the Republicans that he's taking the threat off the table of using the 14th Amendment as authority to prevent US sovereign debt default if the Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling: Sam Stein, White House Rules Out Constitutional Option On Debt Ceiling: Report Huffington Post 07/07/2011.

That threat was at least a plausibly legitimate exercise of Executive power, unlike some of the national security claims this White House has made. Now they are taking that off the table, apparently to increase the political momentum for serious cuts in Social Security and Medicare, both programs the President opposes.

Here's the 07/07/2011 PBS Newshour report on the debt-ceiling talks, in which President Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare that would represent a major step in phasing out both programs:

I'm sick of this. If any debt-ceiling deal contains cuts to Social Security and Medicare, the Democrats in Congress should vote it down. Period. If the Republicans' friends on Wall Street think that's going to cost them more money than whatever they think they will gain from cutting Social Security and Medicare, let them twist their Republican lackeys' arms and get the vote. For any Democrat to vote for a deal like this is a disgrace.

We shouldn't forget how the Beltway Village austerity brigade of wealthy lobbyists and overpaid media whores see whatever cuts are made as part of the debt-ceiling dealing as only the beginning in a rapid dismantling of Social Security and Medicare. Reliable Establishment pundit Ron Brownstein, whose wife worked for John McCain, write in a June 27 column, The Fiscal Foothill National Journal, before President Obama went public with his own opposition to Social Security and Medicare, "But taxes and entitlements [Social Security and Medicare] are unavoidably the key to stabilizing the long-term debt. That means, whatever happens in the current talks, Washington will need to confront those explosive issues again, probably in 2013."

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