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Hullabaloo


Saturday, November 17, 2012

 
"Horribly unreasonable" lefties protest human sacrifice

by digby

The AP finally notices that liberals aren't very happy with the Villager agenda of using the sick and the elderly as human sacrifices:

That new inflation index, known as chained Consumer Price Index, is a magic elixir for budget writers. But it’s anathema to many liberals, who say that moving to the new cost-of-living measure could cut average retiree benefits by about $600 a year a decade after taking effect and mean a cut of about $1,000 a year after 20 years.

“Think about it this way. You’re standing on the deck of a boat and you’re in very deep water and they want you to swim, but they’re going to put a log chain around your ankle,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told a group of liberal activists assembled for a rally Thursday in a Senate hearing room. “That’s chained CPI.”

Sixteen months ago, Obama’s White House took a different view during talks with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on a possible budget deal. A White House draft offer by top Obama aide Rob Nabors, made public by Washington Post author Bob Woodward, proposed several controversial changes to benefit programs, including the lower inflation adjustment, raising the eligibility age for Medicare and higher Medicare premiums.

Those negotiations, however, were conducted on a playing field that favored Republicans. It was less than a year after Obama’s self-described “shellacking” in the 2010 elections and the president was desperate to win an increase in the government’s borrowing cap and avoid a government default on its debt that should shatter financial markets. Also, Obama still faced re-election in 2012.
[...]
“The price for that kind of thing has gone up,” said a senior House Democrat who required anonymity to speak frankly on party strategy. “Negotiations depend on the situation. No one should expect to get the same kind of deal.”

Republicans have gotten the message, but insist that higher tax revenues be paired with cuts to rapidly growing programs such as Medicare and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. These programs are called “entitlements” because eligibility is based on meeting criteria such as age or income.

“Washington’s problem isn’t that it taxes too little, but that it spends too much,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “But in a good-faith effort to make progress on boosting the economy and government’s long-term solvency, Republicans like me have said for more than a year now that we’re open to new revenue in exchange for meaningful reforms to the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt.”

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said in the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday that “any effort to address our fiscal crisis without including entitlement reform can’t be taken seriously.”

No way, say many liberals.

“We’re going to send a loud message to the leadership in the House, in the Senate, and President Obama: ‘Do not cut Social Security, do not cut Medicare, do not cut Medicaid,’” said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist who aligns with Democrats. “Every now and then elections have consequences. We won.”

Republicans and even some Obama allies worry that liberal demands will make it harder for the president to seal a bargain with the GOP.

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., said Obama has the same problem with his party’s liberal base that Boehner has with some conservative Republicans. “Boehner has a disproportionate group of his folks skewing things too far out and the president has equally the same sort of problems with people who are horribly unreasonable,” Quigley said.

Right it's just as "horribly unreasonable" to protest cutting the subsistence benefits of 90 year old ladies as it is to protest taxing multi-millionaires in amounts that equate to tip money. If only the grow-ups could be left alone to do what needs to be done.

But be that as it may, I think this is shaping up well. I don't care if the Villagers think the Democrats are being unreasonable for refusing to make average Americans "sacrifice" for no other reason than to appease fantasy confident fairies and invisible bond vigilantes. Have at it. We'll join with the looney right to prevent the "sensible centrists" from racing the Europeans for the austerity crown. At this point, I think that may be the best we can hope for, unfortunately. (Jobs aren't even on the agenda...)

Austerity is a game for the rich to play amongst themselves. If they want to pretend that it's a big sacrifice for them to pay a small piece of their ever growing pile of money to support the government, that's their privilege. But thee's no reason for progressives much less average poor, working and middle class Americans to shed any tears over it and offer up their own meager security in an act of nonsensical "fairness." Leave the rest of us out of it.

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