Thursday, July 14, 2011
Obama tries scare tactics on debt ceiling talks against, guess who - Democrats.
Obama's latest gambit in the stalled negotiations on the debt ceiling ( why he doesn't invoke the 14th amendment's clause on the country's debt is hard to understand) is a scare tactic that on its surface seems to be an attempt at pressuring congressional Democrats to go along with a cave in to Republicans on cuts in social security, Medicare and Medicaid something that already has most liberal groups and congressional Democrats up in arms. What he told CBS News was " Without a deal on the debt ceiling, I can't guarantee that social security payments will go out on August 2".
This is quite simply a brazen lie because as has been pointed out before by others, there is no cash flow problem now with the U.S. and social security is completely funded. The U.S. could default on its payments on interest on the outstanding debt and the money to send out social security checks would still be there and by law would be sent.
The Daily Financial Times reported Lance Roberts, CEO of Streettalk Advisors as saying, "There is enough revenue coming in to cover all entitlement payments -- just nothing left to cover other discretionary and non-discretionary spending. The administration is using Social Security payments as a fear tactic."
The underlying strategy seems to be to scare enough people on social security into believing they are in real danger of not getting their checks to pressure Democratic members of congress into accepting Obama's deal.
What has the talks stalled is that Obama has been asking Republicans to give up the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 and close some corporate tax loopholes. The Republican response has been to tell Obama to go screw himself which if he did would be a big improvement over his screwing Democrats which is what he's been doing for two years. But that doesn't stop Republicans from being willing to screw the country also which is what they have shown they do best.
Obama had his chance to get rid of the Bush tax cuts as he pledged, months ago, even more than a year ago when Democrats had large majorities. Instead he folded as usual and the Democratic non- leadership in Pelosi and Reid folded also when it could have been passed and now everyone is paying the price. And let's not forget that when Obama sold out on his pledge to eliminate the Bush tax cuts the first time he called congressional Democrats who objected " sanctimonious purists".
So what does Obama do now about the impasse? Having demonstrated so far that he doesnt have the skill, political wherewithal, powers of persuasion, resolve, or the oratorical skills so many deluded themselves into believing he had to make the easiest case in the world -- that Republican economic policy the last 20 years is the cause of every economic problem and disaster the country has -- instead of that, Obama resorts into scaring people on social security in the hopes that they will pressure congress.
Social security has its own fund and its illegal for the government to raid that fund and use the money for other purposes. The money is there to send out the checks next month, next year and five years from now and if the U.S. defaulted on anything they couldn't legally touch one cent of the social security fund to cover anything.
If in the end Obama does make a deal that includes cuts in social security, Medicare and Medicaid and doesnt include a large tax increase on corporations and the upper 5% income earners, his next decision should be the only time in his presidency he will ever be compared to LBJ -- he should make a speech saying "I will not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party to be your president". Because he wouldnt have a chance in hell of winning anyway.