I've had the opportunity to meet some other writers that should impress you if you're paying attention at all and one of them is Gaius Publius who writes this today-
Obama economic adviser: Using the sequester to cut benefits was "part of the DNA from the start" by Gaius Publius, Americablog
We now have stunning confirmation that Obama is using the sequester “battle” as blackmail to get his Grand Bargain (Grand Betrayal) passed — and that “entitlement” benefit cuts are, and always were, part of the plan. It could not be more clear.
Barack Obama wants to cut entitlements, and he’s using the sequester to do it. This, and no other reason, is why the sequester is happening.
The person who made the statement quoted in my headline — that cutting entitlements is “in the DNA” of the sequester — is Gene Sperling, a “top economic aide” to Barack Obama, and someone who knows what he’s talking about.
Why Obama Refuses to Kill the Sequester Bill, Black, Naked Captalism
Monday, February 25, 2013
I wrote last year about the fact that President Obama had twice blocked Republican efforts to remove the Sequester. President Obama went so far as to issue a veto threat to block the second effort. I found contemporaneous reportage on the President’s efforts to preserve the Sequester – and the articles were not critical of those efforts. I found no contemporaneous rebuttal by the administration of these reports.
I raised the President’s efforts to save the Sequester because they revealed his real preferences. Those of us who teach economics explain to our students that what people say about their preferences is not as reliable as how they act. Their actions reveal their true preferences. President Obama has always known that the Sequester is terrible public policy. He has blasted it as a “manufactured crisis.”
When he acted to save the Sequester, Obama proved that he preferred the Sequester to the alternative. When the alternative threatened by the Republicans was causing a default on the U.S. debt (by refusing to increase the debt limit), one could understand Obama’s preference (though even there I would have called the Republican bluff). The Republicans, however, had extended the debt limit in both of the cases that President Obama acted to save the Sequester in 2011.
Similarly, President Obama has revealed his real preferences in the current blame game by not calling for a clean bill eliminating the Sequester. It is striking that as far as I know (1) neither Obama nor any administration official has called for the elimination of the Sequester and (2) we have a fairly silly blame game about how the Sequester was created without discussing the implications of Obama’s continuing failure to call for the elimination of the Sequester despite his knowledge that it is highly self-destructive.
The only logical inference that can be drawn is that Obama remains committed to inflicting the “Grand Bargain” (really, the Grand Betrayal) on the Nation in his quest for a “legacy” and continues to believe that the Sequester provides him the essential leverage he feels he needs to coerce Senate progressives to adopt austerity, make deep cuts in vital social programs, and to begin to unravel the safety net. Obama’s newest budget offer includes cuts to the safety net and provides that 2/3 of the austerity inflicted would consist of spending cuts instead of tax increases. When that package is one’s starting position the end result of any deal will be far worse.
Obama wants the Grand Betrayal to be his legacy. Give it to him. Everyone reading this has some “reach” — some group of people you influence. Every time you talk about Obama, tell just tell the truth.
“Barack Obama wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. He’s tried it every time these phony crises come along. He just needs Republican tax hikes to hide the knife.”
In other words, rebrand him; paint him with the truth. Don’t hide it from yourself; don’t hide it from your friends. At some point, the new paint will stick. But for that to happen, we must persist.
As much as I think other little things like War Crimes, Global Warming, and stuff are equally important indictments of current government policies; Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are supported by 90%! majorities.
The outcry against this must be as strong by true leftists (progressive is what liberals call themselves because they're weak and ashamed and cowardly, and Democratic is merely a party of convenience rapidly compromising themselves into irrelevance) as it was against
Or are you just a tribalist celebrity suck up with no principles you're not willing to sellout for an insincere smile? History and voters will punish you.
Update In Waltz Time- ek
There is an action agenda, Gaius suggests we also ought to call both our Republican AND Democratic repesentatives to get them to oppose these plans, appealing to their particular ideological orientation (no taxes for Republicans, no cut to the Social Safety Net for Democrats).
Click here to read the plan as it was proposed a few days ago. The only thing that’s changed is the introduction of the Cancel the Sequester Act on Friday (HR 900) by John Conyers, a member of the House Progressive Caucus. That changes the strategy on the Democratic side (we’re going to push for broad Democratic support).
But it changes nothing on the Republican side — it just gives them an easy out if they don’t want to buck House leadership. If Krugman is right, Republican, and especially Tea Party–branded, office-holders can be motivated by …
- Raw hatred of Obama
- Hatred of taxes, ‘cuz “gummint”
- Fear of voter retribution, especially in “ungerrymandered” districts
- Desire to overturn the party’s “mainstream” leadership
… to vote down any tax-plus-cuts deal Obama offers. Our job is to stimulate their motivation with phone calls.