Thursday, December 20, 2012

Separated at birth? Game throwers Barack Obama and "Chick" Gardil
 














"...Set aside the reality that for the elderly and disabled on Social Security, the chained CPI probably doesn’t really work, since their major expenses tend to be for things like medical care and drugs, which actually see faster inflation than most goods and services, or for rent or mortgage payments, which do not lend themselves to substitution easily (old and disabled people have a difficult time moving when rents or interest rates rise). The real question is why Obama would give in on this issue when he already has a winning hand by just letting the Dec. 31 deadline on the Bush tax cuts pass.

There is, as the president surely knows, no real crisis in letting the country go “over” the so-called fiscal cliff. Every expert and every politician knows that when that happens, it is not, despite what the scare-mongering talking heads in the media say, going to raise everyone’s taxes. No politician in Washington would dare to let that happen. They will simply pass a tax bill restoring the Bush tax cuts for people with incomes under $250,000.

The difference is that with the old law, which favored the rich, no longer in existence after New Year’s, restoring tax cuts for the middle class and the lower class would require a majority vote in Congress, and that will be easy to obtain. There would be no majority vote for restoring tax cuts for the rich, though, which have been costing the US Treasury over $70 billion a year for the past decade -- an amount of revenue more than enough, if applied to the Social Security program, to keep it fully funded into the indefinite future.

As strong as the president’s bargaining position is today, it would be ten times stronger after December 31, because Republicans could no longer hold middle class tax cuts hostage in order to cut taxes for the rich.

And yet, here, once again, we see President Obama surrendering his position before serious bargaining has even begun.

It seems like the only place where this president ever stands his ground is in his insistence on killing lots of innocent people with armed drones in countries around the world that the US is not at war with (Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, etc.), and on threatening Iran with attack over its nuclear power program..."  (emphasis mine)

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