The Democrats and entitlement cuts

From Politico:

“The talk of any deal with congressional Republicans — and for now, it’s just that: talk — has liberals worried the White House will give in to changes to safety net programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Republicans say such changes are an essential part of any big deal. And Obama previously has been open to a number of reforms that irk the liberals, such as raising the retirement age of Medicare, means-testing and adopting an inflation calculation, known as chained CPI, for Social Security.

Inevitably, if there is an agreement on a big deal, Democrats will have to get on board for it to pass. But the 2012 election brought in new Democratic members of the House and Senate who are more liberal and more outspoken, strengthening the left wing of the caucus.

One hundred and seven of the 200 House Democrats signed a letter to Obama threatening to vote “against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.”

At this point, of course, talk of a “grand bargain” on the budget is merely theoretical. House and Senate Republicans have made it clear that they have no intention of considering additional revenue increases, and as long as that’s the case, no basis exists for a bargain.

President Obama, on the other hand, continues to make clear that he is open to a deal that includes both revenue and changes to entitlement programs. “Those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms,” he said in his State of the Union speech. “Otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.”

That position was repeated earlier this month by White House economist Gene Sperling, in an interview on “Meet the Press” with David Gregory:

GENE SPERLING: David, as you know, these are tough things the president agreed to. Means testing, Medicare, that means higher premiums for well-off Medicare recipients. $400 billion over ten years in Medicare savings. And the hardest of all–

DAVID GREGORY:

Just to point out–

GENE SPERLING:

–adjustment of the consumer price index.

DAVID GREGORY:

You say the president’s for these things, I have no reason not to believe that’s true. That’s not what Senate Democrats put in their replacement legislation. So when it came to the legislative fight– because this is tough for Democrats.

GENE SPERLING:

Right.

However, it should not be a surprise that a number of congressional Democrats would oppose such cuts. (Raising the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security is a particularly bad idea, for reasons explored in this Washington Post piece.) From the beginning, any such deal has depended on attracting a combination of moderate Democrats and less doctrinaire Republicans. If and when the time came, I don’t doubt that Obama would be able to deliver a good number of votes from his fellow Democrats; the issue would be House Speaker John Boehner’s ability to deliver votes from the Republican side.

But again, the chances of seeing that prediction tested are very slim.

– Jay Bookman

462 comments Add your comment

saywhat?

March 11th, 2013
9:21 am

JohnnyReb

March 11th, 2013
9:25 am

I’ve logged my threat with Republicans.

With revenues at all time highs, anything done that increases again the dollars I pay in taxes is unacceptable.

saywhat?

March 11th, 2013
9:25 am

Welcome back Jay. Maybe Obama should be like Deal, and start replacing members of a dysfunctional Congress? Meanwhile, I am still waiting for a real political liberal to get elected President.

Brosephus™

March 11th, 2013
9:25 am

However, it should not be a surprise that a number of congressional Democrats would oppose such cuts.

I’m not surprised at all. I’m actually rather impressed that there were more than 50 who signed that letter opposing such cuts.

With the GOP gone so far right that they’re almost extreme left, this country is in dire need of an equally vocal and boisterous far left to balance things out. The GOP has been a big bully since 2009, and you have to punch a bully in the mouth to get their attention. You can’t negotiate with a bully as that’s not how they operate. They will keep throwing more and more obstacles for you to jump while they’re still punching you in the gut.

Bravo to the left for actually showing a bit of testicular fortitude. Now, maybe we can get rid of this childish tendency to be obstinate and actually get to governing.

liberal hack

March 11th, 2013
9:27 am

See, there are extremist on the left too. Though I have to agree w/ most Republicans that there is enough revenue coming in. CBO is reporting that last years revenue is largest ever and that this year will exceed last year. Besides the repubs have compromised in 2 fronts, they’ve created a budget fully funding the healthcare act and taxes did raise.

barking frog

March 11th, 2013
9:28 am

Stalemate, Edition 2………

JohnnyReb

March 11th, 2013
9:29 am

In case you missed it, Ryan’s budget defunds Obamacare. While that is a goal of the Right, it certainly digs the trench deeper.

Brosephus™

March 11th, 2013
9:29 am

Revenues are high because there is more money moving in our economy than ever before. It has nothing to do with the rates.

liberal hack

March 11th, 2013
9:29 am

Brosephus, you didn’t get the memo, Jay says there ought to be medicare cuts, he says doctor’s make too much money and should have to see medicare patients cheaply.

Look before I leap...

March 11th, 2013
9:31 am

“…maybe we can get rid of this childish tendency to be obstinate and actually get to governing.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:31 am

JAY

So how exactly without slowing growth (the use of word “cuts” is only used as flawed hystrionic) can we make good on our obligations down the road? First, to suggest that there exists no waste in either program is ridiculous. Second, what is the best thing to do for the country? Minor adjustments can be made excepting for the political hysteria you and others use to scare the current or soon to be recipients.

How much of our ridiculous 3.5 trillion dollar spend should be eaten by entitlements in the coming years?

Dems scaring elders that they will be pushed off a cliff in order to get votes is childish. Same as GOP scaring idiots that they are gonna get their guns taken away.

Where is your middle ground?

liberal hack

March 11th, 2013
9:32 am

Brosephus, rates are just fine…it’s the deductions and loopholes millionaire legislature has embedded into the IRS.

Jefferson

March 11th, 2013
9:34 am

Close tax loopholes. Why not, that’s what a loophole is, unintended. Cut wellfare to the oil companies. Why not ?

liberal hack

March 11th, 2013
9:34 am

My last post should have read, “the millionaire legislative body.”

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 11th, 2013
9:34 am

Looks like a day of the conned like JohnnyReb continuing to post their fantasies and unsupported claims. And that is the root of the problem. The extreme right is working from a point of complete fantasy in addressing any issues. If that is the starting point and they will NOT budget, there is no room to move and, as already noted, those on the left who previously were willing to compromise are now deciding its time to entrench and not give up more ground to appease these right wing extremists.

MiltonMan

March 11th, 2013
9:34 am

“One hundred and seven of the 200 House Democrats signed a letter to Obama threatening to vote “against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.” ”

Yet many voted for Obamacare whcih will cut $716 Billion from Medicare.

Jefferson

March 11th, 2013
9:35 am

Ryan is like a teenager with a single mon asking for a corvette for his 16th birthday… dumb.

jconservative

March 11th, 2013
9:35 am

Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid must and will change. The only question is When?

Granny Godzilla

March 11th, 2013
9:35 am

But But But

The GOP 2012 Presidential candidate actually campaigned on closing tax loopholes…..

just last year….

Golly!

Steve

March 11th, 2013
9:35 am

“Brosephus, rates are just fine…it’s the deductions and loopholes millionaire legislature has embedded into the IRS.”

AGREED

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:36 am

Brosephus™

March 11th, 2013
9:25 am

IMO a good leader should figure out a way to negotiate with what you call “bully”. Many presidents before BO possessed those particular qualities. It can be argued, per early chapters of Woodward book and several other accounts, the the GOP had solid reasoning to not trust BO with above board negotiations. Great legacy..”Think of the things I coulda got done if it weren’t for those GOP guys “

Jefferson

March 11th, 2013
9:36 am

milton is a pip with those numbers, a pip.

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:36 am

Raising the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security is a particularly bad idea

As are any other end-user benefit cuts. And I will include any cockamamie half-assed compromises offered by some Very Serious Villagers to implement new forms of means-testing, which would a) not really net any savings/revenue of merit unless they were applied to people who are of rather modest means anyway and b) serve to further alienate some Americans from these institutions and make them more receptive to charlatans peddling “it’s a ponzi scheme! we must piratize!” BS.

(for the thousandth time, I realize, but I guess I gotta keep posting this.)

liberal hack

March 11th, 2013
9:36 am

Hey Jefferson, how about cutting welfare to corn grower’s, especially those growing corn for ethanol. Have you seen the price for corn lately? And while we are at it, why not cut welfare to solar and wind companies, they aren’t exactly winners right now either.

MANGLER

March 11th, 2013
9:36 am

Well, the GOP finally admitted, publicly, that the Pentagon could handle some cuts. So whats the harm in admitting that public health care dollars should get more scrutiny?

MiltonMan

March 11th, 2013
9:37 am

“Brosephus, you didn’t get the memo, Jay says there ought to be medicare cuts, he says doctor’s make too much money and should have to see medicare patients cheaply.”

…just got a letter from my doctor(s). (1) They are no longer taking Medicare patients & (2) They are seriosuly considering going private.

mm

March 11th, 2013
9:37 am

“With revenues at all time highs, ”

Well, I don’t know where you cons get your “facts”. Oh, nevermind, I do.

As a percentage of GDP, revenues are at their lowest in half a century.

Steve

March 11th, 2013
9:39 am

Revenues are not even close to where they were under Clinton, when we were able to balance budgets.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 11th, 2013
9:39 am

Nice Drudgico quote!

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:39 am

(1) They are no longer taking Medicare patients & (2) They are seriosuly considering going private.

Well, I would suggest you wish them well with their new practice out there in Galt Gulch, and then go find someone who doesn’t hate you.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:39 am

Jefferson

March 11th, 2013
9:34 am

I agree with closing loop holes but at some point diminishing returns will enter the fray. If the top earners are currently paying 80% of tax revenue and this number increases to 90%+, I imagine we will start to see those same folks moving elsewhere…just like is happening in France (nirvana for BO)….Pretty soon, we will have 65% not paying taxes…what happens then?

barking frog

March 11th, 2013
9:40 am

President should stop channeling his Clinton and start channeling his Johnson.

Thomas Heyward Jr

March 11th, 2013
9:40 am

In a centralized planned economy, the centralized Banks/Corps win over the tax slaves……………….everytime.
.
But Hey……………its for the collective.

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:41 am

I don’t doubt that Obama would be able to deliver a good number of votes from his fellow Democrats

nor do I, which is why his Presidency will never get an “A” from this evaluator.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 11th, 2013
9:41 am

Anybody who agrees with the statement “Those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms” is a complete fool.

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:41 am

start channeling his Johnson.

Post of the Week.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:42 am

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:39 am

Doctors practices will enhance any profit currently enjoyed significantly by no longer accepting Medicare and Medicaid. They can also provide better service as the physician to patient ratio is actually manageable..speak with some internal medicine practitioners for some first hand information.

Granny Godzilla

March 11th, 2013
9:42 am

MiltonMan

Yet many voted for Obamacare whcih will cut $716 Billion from Medicare.

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From ABC

Voters might be left with the impression that Romney and Ryan have both opposed the cuts. The truth is that Ryan himself endorses them in his signature budget plan – the same plan Romney has said he would sign as president if it reached his desk.

Those Medicare savings -achieved through reduced provider reimbursements and curbed waste, fraud and abuse, not benefit cuts – appear in the House Republicans’ FY 2013 budget, which Ryan authored
.
.
.
.Why does Milton Man support waste and fraud?

Golly!

liberal hack

March 11th, 2013
9:43 am

MM, i don’t get where 2.5-2.7 trillion dollars isn’t enough to run a gov’t because it is. How much of gdp should the gov’t have of our money?

Grasshopper

March 11th, 2013
9:44 am

“But the 2012 election brought in new Democratic members of the House and Senate who are more liberal and more outspoken, strengthening the left wing of the caucus.”

Shall we name them the “Flea Party?”

rightwingextreme

March 11th, 2013
9:44 am

dimlibs are never going to “cut” any guvment program….it’s their power base. you “cut” the “entitlements” or even hint at real reform and the dimlibs go ape. they know their voting bloc would desert them in a minute.

it’s why they were opposed to privatizing SS. without those funds, which are now being used in the general budget, they can’t keep expanding guvment’s reach….and control. again, it’s their power base. imagine if We the People actually had control over our money in this area…..no need for guvment….no need for dimlibs…and they know it.

it’s why you’re seeing hissy fits now over just reigning in spending by about 85 billion.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 11th, 2013
9:44 am

IMO a good leader should figure out a way to negotiate with what you call “bully”. Many presidents before BO possessed those particular qualities

Poppycock nonsense! Just more Faux garbage

Erwin's cat

March 11th, 2013
9:44 am

frog – President should stop channeling his Clinton and start channeling his Johnson.

I’m not exactly sure what you’re channeling there :D

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:45 am

If the top earners are currently paying 80% of tax revenue and this number increases to 90%+

FFS, does ANYONE outside of conservo-world give a rat’s ass about THAT^^ metric?

Again, for those who might, and for the thousandth time, if the highly concentrated uber-klass is paying the lion’s share of revenues, IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE A HIGHLY CONCENTRATED UBER-KLASS, and we should ensure that actual working Americans share in that largess, not just that teensy-tiny slice, rather than fretting about what that Wall-Street-Journal-hyped metric.

jeez.

Gale

March 11th, 2013
9:45 am

What ever happened to the idea of raising or eliminating the SS tax cap? Seems that would increase the money flowing to SS without raising the rate, or restricting benefits.

alittlecommonsense

March 11th, 2013
9:45 am

I have seen Jay write a lot of blogs criticizing the “far right” for not compromising. Should I read this blog as Jay criticizing the far left for not compromising? That’s pretty much what it looks like to me. Maybe I’m giving him too much credit for fair-handedness though. Because he stops just short of any actual crticism.

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:45 am

I’m not exactly sure what you’re channeling there

It works on both levels, actually.

Jackie

March 11th, 2013
9:46 am

Still have not figured how something you pay for – Social Security – is considered an entitlement?

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:46 am

Welcome to the Occupation

March 11th, 2013
9:41 am

I guess you will find it no surprise that I’m a fool then. As mentioned, the ratio of workers to retiree benefits used to be 16:1…it will soon be 2:1…so you can go to any graduation and pick any two kids and thank them in advance for paying for your retirement et al..

If you presume that “cuts” is the same as slowing growth (do you support PelosiCare…that won’t slow growth either but at least it will cost us trillions) so be it…

Who do you propose it remain sustainable? How much of our spending should be allocated to these programs down the road?

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:47 am

Should I read this blog as Jay criticizing the far left for not compromising?

That’s actually a good question. Jay? do you think Dems should be Very Sensible People and agree to screw the Poors and the Olds so we can have a Grand Bargain?

It’s not entirely clear.

As an independent who is more conservative than liberal with other peoples money...

March 11th, 2013
9:49 am

…just what is wrong with raising the FICA tax to 7% on everyone, and having EVERYONE pay these taxes on ALL money that is earned (not just the first $113K or so)…

And, just because the Washington Post says something does not mean it is right – so, just what is wrong with raising the age for receiving Social Security…

barking frog

March 11th, 2013
9:49 am

Erwin’s cat
LBJ Johnsoned the Congress to do what he wanted and
President Obama should do the same. Dinner dates won’t work.

Gale

March 11th, 2013
9:49 am

Stevie Ray, seems it is our best interest to be sure those two kids get very well paying jobs.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:51 am

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:45 am

Arrogance is stating that “for the thousandths time..” that everyone here should succomb to your thought process. Wishful thinking on your part.

We will not get out of this mess completely on the backs of top 20%…..this political class war strategy will go only so far…I’m of the opinion that we will spend whatever we bring in at at minimum so material increases in revenues by pushing the 20% to continue to support the others is not going to be a real game changer…demographics and common sense are keys to understanding this reality.

Gale

March 11th, 2013
9:51 am

LBJ knew how Congress worked a lot better than Obama does.

Jackie

March 11th, 2013
9:51 am

The outcry about the government spending as part of GDP has increased due to increased military spending. The “peace dividend” left by President Clinton has magically disappeared.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/what-is-driving-growth-in-government-spending/

Jay

March 11th, 2013
9:52 am

SFD, I think the change in the CPI adjustment and means-testing of Medicare are reasonable steps as part of a larger deal. Raising the eligibility age is not.

independent thinker

March 11th, 2013
9:52 am

Cut the bloated defense budget 25% which has gone from 294 billion when Clinton left office to projected 711 billion for 2012; remove all tax deductions for corporations that earn over a billion dollars a year; keep those 716 billion dollars in cuts to Medicare that Romney claims was stolen from recipients cut all deductions on individual income over a million dollars a year;
tax off shore earnings at a low rate;
cut all oil subsidies passed by Cheney and the GOP;
get big pharma to sell drugs at reduced rate to Medicare and
the budget will be balanced The rest is just posturing and nonsense..

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:52 am

We will not get out of this mess completely on the backs of top 20%…

aww. Their poor widdle backs!

Here’s a thought. How about improving wages and overall financial security of the “bottom” 80%?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 11th, 2013
9:53 am

Stands, I am sure you have seen it but for those clownish who keep whining about % of taxes, here is a chart showing the ACTUAL distribution of wealth in this country.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:53 am

Gale

March 11th, 2013
9:49 am

Amen…good education is available if folks want it. As long as we expand safety net programs that have held back more that helped, the want will continue to be voided…

Think about the amount of FICA and Medicare taxes for each paycheck of these suckers..

ByteMe - Got ilk?

March 11th, 2013
9:53 am

Want to save Medicare? Simple answer: let anyone 40 or older buy into it for a regular health care premium (fair market value) and let Medicare negotiate better prices with pharma and medical device manufacturers. More revenue, lower costs per person.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 11th, 2013
9:54 am

Anybody who would say the following is either an idiot, with no political instincts, or is a scoundrel and turncoat who is in fact betraying the very thing that’s purportedly being defended:

“Those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms”

We are still neck deep in the rubble of the greatest financial crash since the 1930s, which was brought on entirely by the capitalist financier class and who were naturally the first to be rescued from its effects, and even before the crash incomes of the majority of workers had been declining even as productivity had been steadily increasing for decades due largely to technological advances and greater corporate disciplining of workers, with the capitalist owner class of course pocketing nearly 100% of the growing surplus thus created.

Now, with trilliions of dollars in a corporate hoard of cash simply sitting uninvested, which is now being cashed out in stock buybacks, sending the stock market and private wealth among the investor class soaring, we hear what?

Cut social programs?

Anyone who buys it for one second is a fool.

The capitalist class is simply trying through its proxies and mouthpieces in the two parties to push blame for the crisis of capitalism and the financial crisis onto the backs of workers, who were not responsible for it in the first place.

There is no reason whatsoever for there to even be the slightest talk of a CUT in social programs. None. On the contrary, all that should be on the table is HOW MUCH and HOW THOROUGHLY the increases in social programs/protections should be.

JamVet

March 11th, 2013
9:55 am

Safety net programs?????

We don’t need those!

Ask td and the other Uncle Sam-hating fantics here!

The government has NO business helping the poor! Those were his very words.

That is the job of churches and individuals, you see!

Further, td and the other wealth worshipers, will tell you that the war on poverty has been a colossal failure and waste of time.

What they won’t tell you is what the poverty and hunger levels in America would be with his preferred “church method” of ameliorating them…

Brosephus™

March 11th, 2013
9:55 am

liberal hack: rates are just fine…it’s the deductions and loopholes millionaire legislature has embedded into the IRS.

You sure could have fooled me. How much of the 47% is due to loopholes, you know, the same 47% that mooches off the 53%? Millionaires make up less than 1% of the fabled 47%, but when the Clinton rates were cut, that group went from 35% to almost 50%, so it’s not just deductions and loopholes.

I’m not saying we need to tax grandma and grandpa, but the rates should have been allowed to reset in 2010 as they were supposed to. Then, I’d say the rates were ok.

As to not getting a memo, I didn’t sign up for one. ;)

————–

Stevie Ray: IMO a good leader should figure out a way to negotiate with what you call “bully”.

That’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it. When you figure out how to negotiate with a bully, I’m sure you’ll be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize as most bullies do not have negotiation in mind. All they want to do is force their will on others. Sometimes, you have to hit them harder than they hit you to get their attention.

Once you shut the bully switch off, THEN you can negotiate with them. As long as they’re stuck on bully, you’re better off negotiating with dirt.

Steve

March 11th, 2013
9:56 am

Jackie – good find:

“Military spending makes up closer to 24 percent of federal expenditures today. That’s up from the near-term low from 1998 to 2001, when it made up about 20 percent of federal spending.”

Recon 0311 2533

March 11th, 2013
9:57 am

I don’t know if so many rank and file liberal Democrats have somehow convinced themselves, been convinced by far-left propagandists or know better but don’t want a falling out with their majority. The Democrats under the leadership of this president have moved so far left that they couldn’t find their way back to the political center with a map, compass or even a GPS. This bunk about Obama as a centrist president and the Dem party being center left moderates is purely bull shyt. Obama has no interest in entitlement reform and he has no interest in true negotiations with Republicans. He’s only throwing out a smoke screen in an attempt to fool voters into believing he’s open to compromise and the Republicans are not open to compromise. Obama’s looking toward 014 when he hopes to regain the House, so he can further his agenda. Obama’s a hard core socialist and unfortunately hard core socialists make up the majority of today’s Democrats.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
9:57 am

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:52 am

That seems to be your grand idea by making the top 20% responsible for the welfare of the 80%. Reeks of socialism but if your continue being a BO blind sheep, that is your ultimate quest…

I bet getting handouts will really do well for these “downtrodden” souls…Look what handouts have done since FDR to those in need? Certainly hurt more than it helped.

No lets follow your and BO”s path…let’s simply create a union of all those making middle class wages or less. Then they can shake down the 20% in union fashion.

The days of making 100K plus lifetime benefits for an assembly line job are gone..

Welcome to the Occupation

March 11th, 2013
9:58 am

The entire “deficit” debate is merely a smokescreen and dodge that allows the crisis of capitalism, brought on by the financier class, to be shifted onto the backs of the workers.

Period.

It’s that simple.

Jackie

March 11th, 2013
9:58 am

The big weight on our economy is the enormous increase in health care cost, which has gone to over 20% of GDP.
It appears the executives of non-profit hospitals and health care companies have increased their salaries by exorbitant amounts by increasing cost of goods and services provided by their companies.

http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/

St Simons

March 11th, 2013
9:59 am

If there is a reduction in benefits that we have payed into and earned,
or a raise in the age that we paid into as terms of the programs,

while leaving rates for billionaires low and more loopholes for billionaire
corporations, credits, and corp welfare than this accountant can
keep up with,

there will be hell to pay (extinction) for the party that attempts that.
The People are well informed, and they ‘on to’ that crap.
Fact Jack.

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
9:59 am

That seems to be your grand idea by making the top 20% responsible for the welfare of the 80%.

Your grand idea seems to be pretending that the top 20% have earned every penny they keep and that the bottom 80% should be happy with the slop doled out into their begging bowls.

(as long as I’m painting with your broad brush.)

Granny Godzilla

March 11th, 2013
9:59 am

Recon 0311 2533

March 11th, 2013
9:57 am

“The Democrats under the leadership of this president have moved so far left that they couldn’t find their way back to the political center with a map, compass or even a GPS. This bunk about Obama as a centrist president and the Dem party being center left moderates is purely bull shyt.”

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Balderdash.

Moderate Line

March 11th, 2013
10:00 am

Inevitably, if there is an agreement on a big deal, Democrats will have to get on board for it to pass. But the 2012 election brought in new Democratic members of the House and Senate who are more liberal and more outspoken, strengthening the left wing of the caucus.

Both the Dems and the GOP are becoming more ideaological. Interesting enough the American people are really no different than 30 years ago.

The poll shows Republicans and Democrats are increasingly far apart on questions surrounding values and beliefs. In 1987, when Pew began gathering data on how members of both parties feel about a set of 48 value-oriented questions, the average disparity between Republicans and Democrats was 10 points. In 2012, the average was an 18-point difference.

Much of the increase has been relatively recent: Between 1987 and 2002, the differentials fell within a 3-point range, alternating between 9, 10, and 11 points. In 2003, however, the average difference in partisan voter values jumped from 11 to 14 percent, where it remained constant until 2007. In 2009, the number jumped to 16 percent, and in 2012 it reached 18 percent.

While partisan polarization has surged in recent years, the differentials have remained relatively stable among other demographic groups, including race, income, education, religiosity, and gender.
The poll also notes a growing number of Americans who choose to identify as independents rather than Democrats or Republicans.

Thirty-eight percent of the survey’s respondents said they identify as independents, while just 32 percent of called themselves Democrats, and 24 percent identified as Republicans.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57447073-503544/poll-surging-partisanship-among-american-voters/

barking frog

March 11th, 2013
10:01 am

The baby boomer (28% of total population) problem will cure
itself over the next 20 years. To get there from here very little
needs to be done. Both Republicans and Democrats ignore
the Unemployment situation which if cured would cure the
entitlement problem.

Gale

March 11th, 2013
10:01 am

And clearly the increase in health care cost has not made us healthier as a nation.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
10:01 am

Brosephus™

March 11th, 2013
9:55 am

Well lets see. In the past, following thru with actions consistent with campaign promises of compromise would have been a good start. Second, a strategy that worked for many prior actual leaders involved developing trusting relationships over time with all….personal phone calls and actual visits to the hill all proven successful…yet BO’s arrogance or fear has kept him from doing so until crisis hits..these tactics should have been his top priority as opposed to a last resort…

ByteMe - Got ilk?

March 11th, 2013
10:01 am

That seems to be your grand idea by making the top 20% responsible for the welfare of the 80%.

Yes, let’s pretend instead that this isn’t true and that the top 1% don’t own pretty much the entire country:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

alex

March 11th, 2013
10:02 am

Jay from your “opinion” it appears that the dems are less moderate and the republicans are more “doctrinare”, don’t see how Obama or Boehner are going to have an easy time “delivering the votes”
@ common sense, Jay does appear to be more objective here…let’s give him his due….

Gale

March 11th, 2013
10:03 am

Amusing point, frog. If SS survives the next 20 years, the cost of SS will decrease.

SouthernGent

March 11th, 2013
10:03 am

Everything is wrong with playing Robin Hood. The Republicans gave tax increases with the first deal of the year and the Presbo and the demorats gave NO spending cuts. Liberals are sure fast and lose when it comes to someone else’s money, but let it be their money and they scream like stuck pigs. This thread for instances sounds like pigs in a 1930 era slaughter house!

jms

March 11th, 2013
10:03 am

“Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid must and will change. The only question is When?”

Judging by our elected officials and mirrored by most posting here, no moderate solution is forthcoming. So in answer to your question, SS and Medicare will change when those houses of cards come crashing down.

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
10:03 am

barking frog

March 11th, 2013
10:01 am

Why should we count on a government who is comfortable spending 40% more that we collect to generate jobs? First, there is only a very limited amount of things they can do…only sure bet is to increase government hiring…I’m wondering if those shovel ready jobs are shovel ready yet..

jms

March 11th, 2013
10:06 am

“The baby boomer (28% of total population) problem will cure
itself over the next 20 years. To get there from here very little
needs to be done. Both Republicans and Democrats ignore
the Unemployment situation which if cured would cure the
entitlement problem.”

You need to talk to an actuary

Fred ™

March 11th, 2013
10:06 am

Holy Cow, did the blog master finally find the DST function? Amazing. Where did they get this guy? Outsourced from a Windows help desk in India?

Brosephus™

March 11th, 2013
10:07 am

Stevie Ray @ 9:35 and 9:39

You say that rates are fine and deductions and loopholes are the problem. Then you turn around and post about the uber wealthy shouldering more of the tax burden. Do you not understand how the first problem leads to the second, or is that complicated? Cutting rates increased the number of people with no tax liability. Returning the rates to where they were increases the number of people who “shoulder the load”. If the wealthy increase their take of the income, their share of the tax load will increase even if we don’t do diddly squat with rates or deductions.

Jackie

March 11th, 2013
10:07 am

Social Security solvency, in present payment schedules and income rates will not reach a negative balance until 2037.

Even then, with no change, the payout would be 70% of what is scheduled.

http://www.therubins.com/socsec/solvency.htm

Erwin's cat

March 11th, 2013
10:07 am

You need to talk to an actuary

Stevie Ray?

Fred ™

March 11th, 2013
10:08 am

Everything is wrong with playing Robin Hood. The Republicans gave tax increases with the first deal of the year and the Presbo and the demorats gave NO spending cuts. Liberals are sure fast and lose when it comes to someone else’s money, but let it be their money and they scream like stuck pigs. This thread for instances sounds like pigs in a 1930 era slaughter house!

And here is your typical FOXBOT induced post from the right. Nothing of substance, no ideas, just lies, hyperbole, accusations, and insults. THIS is what listening to talk radio and watching FOX 24/7 does to your brain.

barking frog

March 11th, 2013
10:09 am

jms
You need to talk to an actuary
……………………………….
o.k.

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
10:09 am

Both Republicans and Democrats ignore
the Unemployment situation which if cured would cure the
entitlement problem.

this, this, a million times, this.

Tom Middleton

March 11th, 2013
10:09 am

Shouldn’t our top priority be getting our economy roaring again? I mean, with more and more money coming into our government’s coffers, would any of our problems be so bad as to require what’s being discussed?

How ironic, Jay, that creating jobs is what Republicans do worse, and for evidence just look at the Bush years – their crashed economy and no net jobs.

I have a theory that if it wasn’t for their dismal record, they wouldn’t have been trying to destroy this president like they have until even right now.

I heard over the weekend how they disdain being criticized, but what are we supposed to praise them for when they can’t do anything right?

alittlecommonsense

March 11th, 2013
10:10 am

“I think the change in the CPI adjustment and means-testing of Medicare are reasonable steps as part of a larger deal. Raising the eligibility age is not.”

I think both are probably going to have to happen. As our population lives longer it is reasonable to retire later. I hate means testing – because that basically turns social security and medicare into welfare programs. But even though I hate it, I realize that something absolutely must be done.

Granny Godzilla

March 11th, 2013
10:10 am

SouthernGent

March 11th, 2013
10:03 am

Everything is wrong with playing Robin Hood. The Republicans gave tax increases with the first deal of the year and the Presbo and the demorats gave NO spending cuts
.
.
.
.As the process began with the Budget Control Act of 2011 your math does not go back far enough.

Are you being mislead or attempting to?

philosopher

March 11th, 2013
10:10 am

“And, just because the Washington Post says something does not mean it is right – so, just what is wrong with raising the age for receiving Social Security…”

Perhaps if you READ the article and notice the information (data) supplied, you’d see that the poor would be significantly hurt by this because the life expectancy for them has not increased as it has for the wealthy. Are you OK with this? The poor work for a lifetime at the heavy physical jobs that wear them down and tear them up. So while the wealthy are still able to enjoy lots of healthy, happy years, does it seem OK to take more years of retirement (rest, mostly, b/c they can’t exactly afford to and aren’t physically able to, play tennis and golf and travel the world) from the poor?

Stevie Ray

March 11th, 2013
10:10 am

ByteMe – Got ilk?

March 11th, 2013
10:01 am

Apples and oranges there….I’m referring to current tax burden which is based on income. Using actual wealth suggests we should be taxing on net worth of individuals as opposed to annual income….

That won’t exactly work will it?

My point is that taxes on the wealthy should go up and loopholes should get closed. However, leaning on this strategy alone is simply a political win as opposed to a total solution. All those crying because we try to slow growth by 85 billion (of course if department heads and BO took responsibility for cuts all the hyberbole would not be necessary) indicate that all things will get better once we increase the top 20%’s annual contribution to over 90%….

How does it feel to get subsidies while you are making a good wage? A real confidence booster eh? All it really represents is a moral hazard..

St Simons

March 11th, 2013
10:10 am

pay it forward cons. somebody paid it forward (at much higher rates than
you are paying), but you are shirking.

Today’s cons – shirkers, smirkers, birfers

stands for decibels

March 11th, 2013
10:11 am

Even then, with no change, the payout would be 70% of what is scheduled.

“But it is a CRISIS which we must address NOW NOW NOW.”
–your Very Sensible Villagers

/drive-by

mm

March 11th, 2013
10:11 am

lib hack,

“MM, i don’t get where 2.5-2.7 trillion dollars isn’t enough to run a gov’t because it is.”

It’s not when we’re spending 1.2 trillion on defense.

And 1/4 of corporations pay no taxes.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 11th, 2013
10:12 am

Well, I don’t know about you but I think a person ought to be able to keep working till 85 or 90. Then it would be OK to maybe retire or cut down to a half-time job. And Medicare? Raise the age to 80 or so, cause I know parts start going wrong about that time. People run off to see a Dr. for all kind of petty things, like a little cancer or stroke or heart attack and stuff like that. We need to make sure it’s a real serious illness before Medicare pays for anything.

But I’m dead set against this Medicaid. If God had of wanted you to have medical insurance you would of been born with a little policy in your hands and it could grow up with you. Let these bums go out and find a job so they can get insurance. Don’t go putting your hand in my pocket.

Anyhow, I know mine is a very moderate position and alot of Republicans will criticize me for being too librul, but if the librul Democrats want a budget deal they’ll adopt the things I mentioned. We don’t need to be Loading Our Kids and Grandkids Up with Debt and running the good Free Innerprize System into the ground.

So I’m meeting the librul Democrats halfway. I hope they’ll be reasonable about this stuff.

Have a good Monday everybody.