• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on Jeopardy!
    jmac on Jeopardy!
    William on Jeopardy!
    riverdaughter on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    campskunk on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Memorial Day
    eurobrat on One Tiny Mistake…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    riverdaughter on Evil people want to shove a so…
    campskunk on Evil people want to shove a so…
    eurobrat on D E F A U L T
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Tina Turner (1939-2023)
    jmac on D E F A U L T
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    July 2011
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

  • Top Posts

Sunday: Verdict in. Obama and his droogs watch too much Fox News

Who's pushing who?

It turns out that he is neither naive or evil.  He is merely as uninformed as the rest of the Fox News audience.  Or that’s what I’m picking up from Paul Krugman’s latest post. President Pushover, where he quotes an upcoming article from Elizabeth Drew:

Even more alarming, however, is her window on what the White House is thinking:

It all goes back to the “shellacking” Obama took in the 2010 elections. The President’s political advisers studied the numbers and concluded that the voters wanted the government to spend less. This was an arguable interpretation. Nevertheless, the political advisers believed that elections are decided by middle-of-the-road independent voters, and this group became the target for determining the policies of the next two years.

OK, I’ve never won a tough election. But neither has Obama! The 2008 race was looking close until Sarah Palin and Lehman came along. And as far as I can tell, this assessment both of what 2010 was about and what matters for 2012 is just ludicrous.

As I recall, two things happened last year: voters were angry about the weak economy, and older voters believed that Obama was going to take away their Medicare and send them to the death panels. And so the way to win those voters back is to cut Medicare and weaken the economy?

A further point: even if Obama really does cut spending, will anyone notice? Even people who are supposedly well informed believe that there was a vast expansion of government under Obama, when in fact there wasn’t. So we’re supposed to believe that independent voters will actually be able to cut through the fog — the deliberate fog of Fox, the he-said-she-said of most other media organizations — and give him credit for spending cuts? Remember, whatever he does Republicans will claim that the government is getting bigger — and news organization will report only that “Democrats say” that this isn’t true.

You know, I think this is only partially true.  Paul is just having a senior moment.  Let’s not forget Peter Orzag’s plans to go for entitlements.  Orzag worked on a position paper through the Brookings Institute in 2005 that proposed cuts to entitlements for workers 59 years and younger. Obama is not a pushover.  Here’s an article on it from November 2008 by The Progressive:

Barack Obama’s choice to head the budget office is on record favoring a reduction in Social Security benefits.

On Tuesday, Obama picked Peter Orszag to direct the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Orszag believes that Social Security benefits should be cut back to help balance the Social Security Trust Fund over the next 75 years.

He spells out his views in a paper he wrote with Peter A. Diamond for the Brookings Institute back in 2005, called “Saving Social Security: The Diamond-Orszag Plan.”

In it, they call for “a reduction in benefits, which would apply to all workers age 59 and younger.”

The younger you are, the more you’ll get hurt.

“The reduction in benefits for a 45-year-old average earner is less than 1 percent,” the plan says. “For a 35-year-old, less than 5 percent; and for a 25-year-old, less than 9 percent. Reductions are smaller for lower earners, and larger for higher ones.”

In the paper, Orszag and Diamond come out strongly against replacing part of Social Security with individual accounts, which Republicans have proposed. The authors call this “a grave mistake.”

But Orszag and Diamond say that there is no free lunch in making sure Social Security remains solvent. So they propose cutting benefits and raising Social Security taxes.

There’s that term again, “free lunch”.  Who else has used it recently?  Hmmm, let me think…  I know! It was David Leonardt who everyone told me to stop criticizing because he’s such a “good guy, really, he is”.  David Leonardt has just been promoted to NYTimes bureau chief in Washington, DC, aka Villager Central and capital of High Broderism.  David Leonardt is the guy who thinks that anyone not in the top 1% income bracket is incapable of using Turbo Tax to do the long form and take the mortgage interest deduction.  HE thinks that if that deduction is eliminated that you will never even miss it.  I know, I know, hilarious and horrifying all at one time.  Is there a German word like Schadenfreude that perfectly captures the sense of hilarity and horror?  You German majors should work on that.

Listen, up, guys (and it’s almost always guys), we would very much like you to stop referring to our social security benefits as free lunch.  It certainly hasn’t felt like free anything in the 25 years that I have paid the payroll tax and the surplus payroll tax to pay for my unforgiveable sin of being born in the latter half of the babyboom generation.  Anyone who continues to use that term or any term similar to it that implies that we expect something for nothing should not be considered a real journalist by anyone.  You are merely a propaganda arm of the “serious people” who have absolutely no idea what it is like to live on a paycheck and not from your investments.

So, Obama is *not* actually targeting the independent voter based on the 2010 election.  Trimming social security and medicare has always been his plan.  He WANTS to jump off this bridge- chained to the rest of the Democratic caucus.  He’s listening to the Villagers and the Villager economists who are convinced that taking care of this looming social security problem that’s two and a half decades away is going to make him a national hero.  And he’s determined to do it not by raising the payroll tax on upper income earners, which would have been the simple solution, but on the backs of the younger people who are already screwed for not having pensions that will cover their retirement costs.

Meanwhile, back at the treasury, Tim Geithner is whining that settling for a two tier solution now is not fair:

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner showed little enthusiasm for a two-tiered debt-limit vote being discussed in Congress Sunday, saying it “makes no sense” to leave the threat of default hanging until the next election.

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Geithner reinforced President Obama’s position that any proposal from Congress needs to “take default off the table for the next 18 months … through the election.”

Gosh, we really need that German word.  The two-tiered debt-limit that rears its ugly head again just before next year’s election makes perfect sense from the Republicans’ point of view.  It’s yet another opportunity to force Democrats into a corner.

Can we primary Obama now??

17 Responses

  1. Great post

    Trimming social security and medicare has always been his plan.

    Yup why he was installed…and that fix as in years before ’08 of course …and why he will be reinstalled

    Can we primary Obama now??

    That’s a question for the actual Dem base. and until SOMEONE actually does that…Obama will continue to do the job he was set up to do: Make us a 3rd world nation. Why wouldn’t he?

    Besides the fact I don’t see how anyone can primary him since the Party is under lock and key in Chicago, and Blackwater goons would be used on whoever does( at the very least) ….many Dems are only where they say they won’t send in their money, but will still vote for him. As if any criticism of the ONE must be softened by the assured vote…. oy

    • The Party may be under lock and key in Chicago but the party’s VOTERS are under no such restraints.
      Wait until the under 55’s come back from vacation to find that they have even less to retire on. And they’re still in danger of losing their jobs and they’re pensions are not secure…
      I’m really starting to develop an intense antipathy towards the clueless serious people who have absolutely no understanding of what it takes for an average middle class person to plan for retirement these days.
      BTW, did you see Krugman take on David Brooks the other day on the Charlie Rose show? Brooks looked completely disarmed and very, very nervous.

  2. Wait until the under 55′s come back from vacation to find that they have even less to retire on

    That’s why I’m hoping for and am saying….the people gotta do it . It’s the only force that can counter what’s in place to happen. No one person can

    • I know that I am not amused. Social Security is probably going to be my one main retirement plan now.

  3. Obama won’t face a primary. He stands on the side of controlling other people, against those who would resist that control because they want to control their own life/property/choices. Democrats, no matter what they pretend to believe, simply are elitists who desire royalty controlling slaves, and Obama is pushing for that.

    • Just a quick heads up to our conservative readers: we are liberals here. In fact, we don’t think Obama is liberal enough. In spite of what the media has been telling you, Obama is not a commie or socialist or liberal. Not. Even. Close.

      If you think Republicans want you to control your own life/property/choices, if you are not independently wealthy and still vote for Republicans, then you seriously need help.

      We do not watch Fox News here and our political philosophy is most definitely not conservative. In fact, we stand in opposition to just about all that movement conservatism stands for. We are New Deal Democrats who feel horribly betrayed by this president and his party.

      I hope that clears things up.

  4. I am a dyed in the wool, FDR, yellow dog Democrat who has voted since 1960 and never voted Republican but I will not vote for Obama or his Republican (my congressman and Senators are Republicans) helpers in congress. I want a Liberal, not Progressive, President of The People. I worked until I was seventy years old and I have not had a cost of living raise in Social Security in two and one half years although all the cost of things I need such as food, clothing, housing insurance, car insurance, and gasoline have risen. This COLA was denied under a Democratic President and Democratic Congress. These so-called Democrats are acting more like Republicans.

  5. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner showed little enthusiasm for a two-tiered debt-limit vote being discussed in Congress Sunday, saying it “makes no sense” to leave the threat of default hanging until the next election.

    It’s all about the election of Obama, isn’t it? The credit limit must be increased until after the election, just like the Democrats couldn’t come up with a budget in 2010 to avoid defending their vote at election time. The voters need to get rid of both parties.

  6. The 2008 race was looking close until S____ P____ and Lehman came along.

    The selection of S____ P____ gave McCain a six-point bounce and catapulted him into the lead over Obama for the first time since the campaign started. McCain held on to the lead until Wall Street intervened to protect their investment in Obama.

    • Yep, if it weren’t for the “OMG! We’re all going to die” banker induced panic, Obama would have come very close to losing the election. I realize krugman has to diss Paylin to maintain his creds but he was right to say Obama didn’t have a hard election.
      Paylin has significant problems. Let’s not whitewash them. I’m not nearly as sympathetic to her as I used to be after the Giffords shooting and now this tragedy in Norway. It’s not just a matter if opinion now. It’s too bad digby and jeralyn didn’t concentrate on this aspect instead of getting personal.

      • Curious why the Norway shooting effects your opinion of she who must not be named.

        • Breivik is a Tea Party fan and made comments on Pamela Geller’s anti-Muslim website Atlas Shrugs. Geller is on the JewsForSarah advisory committee. It ties in.

          • Breivik is a Tea Party fan and made comments on Pamela Geller’s anti-Muslim website Atlas Shrugs. Geller is on the JewsForSarah advisory committee. It ties in.

            Breivik is influenced by the actions of the UNAbomber and Timothy McVeigh, but apart from that the US right wing is not really what he’s “into”. His primary focus is first and formost on Norway, followed by concern for Scandinavia and then Europe. The US, no offense, seems to be very far down the line of his “concerns”.

            Which of course is not to say that there aren’t plenty of similarities between the ideologies of right wing radicals all over the world. And we should all be concerned about those – despicable – ideologies.

        • Because, like a lot of politicians today, she makes it ok for her constituency to give in to their baser instincts. Paylin attracts socially conservative, Christians who think there is a jihad just around the corner where Muslims are going to murder us in our beds. These Christians are also anti left. Wasn’t it glenn beck who went off the deep end about how evil we are? Beck and Paylin are a tag team.
          But if you lower the bar to the point of thinking that Muslims and leftists are evil, life threatening forms of life and replace the idea of their humanity with symbols and target cross hairs, you should not be surprised when some of your supporters decide to take action.
          Right wingers like Paylin and Beck are playing with fire and act like it’s all good fun and just politics. It’s not.
          In a similar way, the biggest Paylin detractors on the left are playing a similar game. They’re not as violent but they too pander to their audience which has a bias against what they perceive to be Bubbas and, ironically for a party that claims to represent womens’ interests, any woman who seeks higher political office. I am very disturbed by the pattern of misogyny towards political women of both political parties. It has already been very damaging to women. You’d think they would know better.

  7. the charge of the pink elephants is a very real prospect and the strongest community organizers on Earth, based on my fundraising experience, are the United Methodist Women. These Women are the gentle voices of reason you don’t hear and won’t. They have been joined, recently, by Family Matriarchs who USED to contribute to Democrats’ campaigns, “advised” their family members to vote D and went to church to pray for the souls of the Men who do what they’ve got to do. In the two elections since the jobbing of HRC, they have simply demurred and restrained themselves. There are things more worth doing. They are disconnected, not showing up at the polls and letting the young guys, ((and it’s almost always guys) you say,) have it. Essentially, they have handed the guys enough rope to hang themselves, and as if there were ever a doubt, they’re fashioning quite the noose . Boehner weeps because he’s never held his ground long enough to burnish his resolve. Obama is not so much a push-over as an easy mark for one who recognizes himself in the lazy hacker. For a dimensional chess player, the turkey who “owns” the d.n.c. doesn’t seem to have much of a battle plan. He replaced a Bush Sec. of Defense with a Clinton guy and shuffled a military man to the C.I.A. he’s been operating by the seat of his pants since reading “Team of Rivals” and, frankly, that O with the blood flow “brand” replaced with a “D” in a circle looks even more like the comedy central logo. He’d LOVE to just hang out with Sasha and Malia playing Princess… He’d shove his foot into those glass slippers and proclaim, “I Won!”

  8. Well if they don’t primary him I’m writing Sanders in. Screw the idea that I have to choose between two bad choices and burn the country down.

    Frankly it would do both parties a world of good to see both sides of the aisle engage in a write in campaign. Let them see that even with tons and tons of money that they can’t box the electorate in and ignore them. Let the oligarchs pee the pants with the idea that their two party bought and paid for investment isn’t a lock.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: