‘Not a preferred option’

So is multimillionaire President Obama is something different than a Third Way-loving neoliberal? I can’t wait to hear multimillionaire talking head Lawrence O’Donnell explain this one:

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday closed the door a little more on the debt proposal being floated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) [Ed. note: apprx. $17 million; wife Elaine Chao, board member of Wells Fargo and other boards, compensation unknown], a measure already under siege by conservatives.

“This is not a preferred option,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney [Ed. note: annual salary $172K, married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman, believed to be $700K per annum] said of McConnell’s proposal in his daily briefing.

McConnell’s proposal for avoiding debt default — to transfer full power to raise the debt ceiling to the White House for the remainder of Obama’s current term, cutting Congress out of the process — does nothing to address deficit reduction, Carney said. And Obama is set on making sizable cuts.

“The president is firmly committed to significant cuts in spending and to dealing with our deficit and debt problems in a balanced way,” he said. “Bigger is better. … It’s an opportunity for a game-changer, to put the United States on much firmer ground as we really get into the 21st century and the economic competition that confronts us.”

You got that, people? This is from the White House press secretary: “Bigger is better.” You say “rope-a-dope,” I say “watch your wallets.”

Yes, I get the alleged end game. I know that 60 of the GOP freshmen have signed the “no tax” pledge of unelected Koch legbreaker Grover Norquist [born wealthy, trust fund baby who earns $200K annually from part-time job directing Americans for Tax Reform and other miscellaneous income], which means that at least 38 Democrats have to sign onto any debt ceiling deal. So surely House Dems would use that leverage to protect Social Security and Medicare, right?

The problem here is, President Obama really likes that old-time DLC religion. He shows every sign of actually wanting a Republican deal on Social Security and Medicare (let’s not forget the Catfood Commission), and has a recent track record of forcing House Democrats to bend over for un-Democratic things. (You know, like a health care bill without a public option?)

Hey, maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. But since we’ve known all along that the Republicans would never actually allow a default, wouldn’t the real stroke of 11-dimensional progressive genius have been to refuse to negotiate at all? To say, “People are hurting enough and this deficit talk is a manufactured crisis”? Nope. He wants these cuts. He’s probably going to get them.

P.S. I thought I would add a little perspective to the debate over cutting “only” $1200 a year from women in their 90s who make less than $15,000 a year.

One thought on “‘Not a preferred option’

  1. Yup — to these Powers That Be types $1200 is chump change. To the person living on $15,000 a year it’s survival.

    What’s that economic term? Ah, yes: Marginal Utility.

    For the person with very few dollars, every last one of them is precious. For the person with a million dollars, the last dollar is virtually meaningless.

    The $1200 for the woman in the example is precious — it’s 8% if her entire gross income. For those you list in your post, as I said, the same amount is chump change.

    NPR had a segment on the unemployed this past week. One guy, who’d been earning a 6 figure income, now out of work for a long time, said he was going to drive to the bank to contest an $8.65 incorrect charge. He did this at the cost of gas and time; presently his time is cheap and his last dollar is precious. So, even if it cost him, oh, $2-4 in gasit was worth getting the $4.65 or 6.65 back onto his side of the ledger. It was precious to him.

    Obama does not work for us — and now, when he can get the debt ceiling raised until after the 2012 election, he still is after deep cuts to the social safety net. He’s offered, per David Dayen, huge cuts with no revenue in exchange for an increase in the debt ceiling. Really?

    Oh, yes, he does want to cut both SocSec and Medicare coverage for that 90 year old widow.

    What a guy.

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