Which side are you on, Dems?


Woody Guthrie wants to know

Digby’s nicely distilled description of how Congressional Republicans continue to outmaneuver and cow Democrats — including world-class equivocator John Kerry — who are supposed to be protecting the social safety net:

Note [Republican Sen. Jon] Kyl’s language: he never says 1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. He says, “cuts”, “savings”, “reduced spending.” No taxes or revenue of any kind. He’s simply asserting that this is about discretionary and mandatory domestic spending cuts, period. And that trigger obviously means nothing. Then, you had John Kerry on right afterwards saying that the Democrats were more than willing to take a meat ax to the budget as well but they really, kind of, wanted some revenue too. It doesn’t look like they are going to get even that (thank God.) But the terms of the election year debate are all going to be about how the Democrats are insisting on raising taxes. After all, the only spending cuts that are controversial anymore are the defense cuts — which Democrats will never fight for. In fact, the Republicans will be able to say quite honestly in their campaign ads that the Democrats want to cut social security and medicare and raise taxes.”

Yes, the supercommittee was set up to fail, and it did, and that was a good thing. But when are wishy-washy Dems (Barack Obama is the wishy-washiest) going to take a real stand against the one percenters’ insistence on cutting the New Deal’s cornerstone programs?

I know, stupid question.

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5 Responses to Which side are you on, Dems?

  1. Pingback: Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Which side are you on, Dems?

  2. upyernoz says:

    actually, its beginning to look like the democrats outmaneuvered the GOP on the supercommittee. the GOPers don’t care about the deficit, they were just using the supercommittee to try to get the bush tax cuts extended and to cut entitlements. that didn’t work, so now the automatic cuts are going to happen unless congress acts to stop them. those cuts include their beloved defense department but do not include social security, medicare or medicaid. which means the GOPers are scrambling to pass a bill to turn the defense cuts into entitlement cuts. except that the president has threatened to veto that effort. he’s also threatened to veto any additional extensions of the bush tax cuts.

    which means the GOP is stuck. they’re going to have to either suck up the cuts they don’t want (defense), while not getting the cuts they do want (entitlements) and, worst of all, have the bush tax cuts expire (including the massive cuts on the wealthiest americans), or cut a deal that extends the bush tax cuts on the president’s terms (i.e. letting the cuts on the wealthiest sunset, while extending only the cuts on people earning less)

    if the democrats actually stick to their guns, they actually have the upper hand over the republicans for once. the GOP created the problem themselves because they were expecting the democrats on the supercommittee to cave, but the super-dems refused. if the president and congressional dems also avoid another cave-in, the GOP will have to decide between breaking their deal with grover norquist or losing everything they wanted.

    • oddmanout215 says:

      The fact that the supercommittee was even formed is a tribute to Republican cunning and Democratic weakness. If Obama and some congressional Dems hadn’t opened the door to the possibility of cutting of SS, Medicare and Medicaid, the GOP wouldn’t have dared try to sell these cuts to voters.

      Now that the supercommittee has failed, it’s easy to say that its existence was a shrewd move on Obama’s part, that he has trapped the GOP into making concessions on the defense budget and tax cuts for the rich. (This is what Lawrence O’Brien, who thinks Obama can do no wrong, was crowing about on MSNBC the other night.)

      But it’s not that simple. The Dems on the committee, especially Kerry, really were ready to make cuts to so-called entitlements. As Dana Milbank wrote today, it was the intransigence of the odious Jon Kyl that scuttled any chance of a deal.

      Regarding Obama’s chance to finally eliminate the extra tax cuts for the rich: Never underestimate the tendency of this man to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

      • upyernoz says:

        The fact that the supercommittee was even formed is a tribute to Republican cunning and Democratic weakness.

        yes, but the republican plan backfired. and now the GOP is in a position of weakness when it thought it was setting itself up for a position of strength.

        Now that the supercommittee has failed, it’s easy to say that its existence was a shrewd move on Obama’s part…

        but that’s not what i am saying. i don’t think it was shrewd at all and by design the format gave the GOP both the upper hand and the political cover to do deep unpopular cuts to entitlements. but the republicans fucked it up. they overreached, demanding even more draconian cuts than what kerry was offering, and so they lost their upper hand.

        don’t get me wrong. i’m not bragging that the democrats outsmarted the republicans. i’m saying that the republicans screwed up.

        Regarding Obama’s chance to finally eliminate the extra tax cuts for the rich: Never underestimate the tendency of this man to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

        yes, but this is another chance for him to not mess up. and there is an election coming up and he is well aware that he might have a difficult race. never underestimate his ability to pander either. him doing sticking to his guns for once is not off the table, yet.

  3. There are no cuts. There never are. The Democrats like to demogogue the issue, but since there is no BASELINE BUDGETING, this means EVERY SINGLE YEAR the budget for EVERY program goes UP, automatically. When the Republicans talk about so-called ‘cuts’, and the Democrats scream bloody-murder about ‘cuts’, all that really has happened is the RATE OF GROWTH of the budget that automatically increases every year is slowed down. But it’s still going UP.

    Until we return to baseline budgeting, and we say: “OK, last year this program got $X Billion, this year it will get $X Billion less $Y Billion” and end up with a LOWER number, there is NEVER a cut.

    And if you believe reducing the rate of growth is a ‘cut’, you’ve bought into the whole scam. If $X Billion last year becomes $X Billion plus $Y Billion this year, but $Y Billion is less than it would have been increased otherwise, that is NOT a CUT, it’s a reduction in the rate of growth, BUT IT KEEPS GROWING!!!!

    And THAT’S why we are going BROKE in this country with $15 TRILLION in debt, and GROWING AUTOMATICALLY each and every year due to the lack of baseline budgeting.

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