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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:27 AM

Grand Bargain Watch: Senate's No. 2 Democrat calls for cuts to social safety net

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fiscal-cliff-20121128,0,216238.story
Senate's No. 2 Democrat calls for cuts to social safety net
WASHINGTON — A top Democrat pressured fellow progressives Tuesday to consider long-term changes to the social safety net, even as the party digs in for a fight to save Medicare and other government programs from deep budget cuts.

As closed-door talks continue with the hope of a year-end deal, President Obama will travel to a Pennsylvania toy store this week to pressure Congress to extend the expiring tax cuts for the middle class, while letting those for the wealthiest 2% of Americans expire. Republicans are similarly taking their proposal of tax breaks for all on the road.

At the same time, Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat, tapped his ties to the liberal wing of the party to urge a broader deficit deal in 2013 that would include trims to Medicare and other entitlement cuts. "We can't be so naive to believe that just taxing the rich will solve our problems," said Durbin, speaking before the influential liberal group Center for American Progress. "Put everything on the table. Repeat. Everything on the table."

The assistant majority leader's speech comes at a pivotal moment — the White House's allies in the labor and progressive community have warned Obama not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs in talks with Republicans.

Progressive groups are targeting individual members of Congress and labor leaders are flying in activists from around the nation to Capitol Hill this week to lobby lawmakers to not cut the social safety net.

--snip--


More at the link!

Durbin:
"Put everything on the table. Repeat. Everything on the table."


Ah, yes! Put it off, we can cut it later when the heat dies down. This is the head fake I wrote about earlier.

THAT OLE GRAND BARGAIN EXPRESS IS A...(CHUGGA-CHUGGA)...COMIN' DOWN THE TRACKS...(CHUGGA-CHUGGA)...

We got the President's Senior Advisor and the Democratic Senate Whip shovelin' coal to keep that engine stoked! And the engineer, with his hat pulled low- who could it beeeee?!?

Who will be the next Forward-Thinking™ Democrat to grab the Third Rail and shrug? Tune in tomorrow!

PB

39 replies, 2891 views

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Reply Grand Bargain Watch: Senate's No. 2 Democrat calls for cuts to social safety net (Original post)
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 OP
MjolnirTime Nov 2012 #1
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 #2
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #3
tblue Nov 2012 #4
quinnox Nov 2012 #5
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #6
woo me with science Nov 2012 #25
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #7
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 #8
quinnox Nov 2012 #9
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #12
Dawgs Nov 2012 #20
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #27
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #11
robinlynne Nov 2012 #36
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #37
robinlynne Nov 2012 #38
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #39
Ya Basta Nov 2012 #18
leveymg Nov 2012 #26
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #10
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #13
tomp Nov 2012 #16
bahrbearian Nov 2012 #21
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #30
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #32
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #14
eShirl Nov 2012 #15
grantcart Nov 2012 #17
Angry Dragon Nov 2012 #19
Jim Lane Nov 2012 #34
ProSense Nov 2012 #22
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 #24
Inuca Nov 2012 #28
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 #29
roody Nov 2012 #23
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #31
librechik Nov 2012 #33
Panasonic Nov 2012 #35

Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:33 AM

1. Cynical drivel from a dedicated Obama detractor. Nothing more.

 

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:35 AM

2. You don't even DARE attempt to address the article at all, or Durban's quotes.

CHUGGA-CHUGGA, CHUGGA-CHUGGA!

PB

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:38 AM

3. LA Times = dedicated obama detractor? who knew?

 

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:39 AM

4. And you are....?

???

No need to be so rude and dismissive.

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:45 AM

5. typical response from the blind cheerleading department

 

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Response to quinnox (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:58 AM

6. Typical tripe from a staunch member of the Loyal Detractors of President Obama.

So transparent.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:45 AM

25. The Third Way is out today! nt

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:59 AM

7. Since the election is over

they've come out from the woodwork with a vengeance.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:01 AM

8. You don't even DARE attempt to address the article at all, or Durban's quotes.

CHUGGA-CHUGGA, CHUGGA-CHUGGA!

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:04 AM

9. of course not, these folks never address the issues

 

All they have are lame one-liners. Par for the course.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:36 AM

12. Maybe it's because that's all panicky drivel from anti-Obamanites is worth? One-liners?

You do know that the article by the OP, a proven loyal detractor of President Obama, is OLD NEWS, right? RIGHT?

If not, perhaps opening your mind a little and realizing that we';re still in the negotiation stage instead of finding every fucking negative thing about President Obama you can muster, might help clear your mind so some FACTS can trickle in every now and then.

UPDATE: 3:22 p.m. -- Later on Tuesday, after meeting with Senate Democrats, Durbin attempted to clarify his position on including Medicare and Medicaid in the fiscal cliff talks.

"What I'm saying is, what I'm talking about now is the immediate -- what takes us to the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff," he said, adding that Medicare and Medicaid should not be part of those talks. But, he said, "When you're talking about long-term deficit reduction, $4 trillion worth, entitlement reform needs to be part of it."

Social Security, too?

"No. Social Security you take off the table and put in a separate commission," Durbin said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a top deputy to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), echoed Durbin's remarks during an interview with MSNBC's Tamron Hall.

"With respect to Social Security, I agree with what the president has said and what Peter DeFazio said. Social Security is not part of the deficit and debt problem. We're not going to raid Social Security in order to balance other parts of the budget," Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen also rejected cutting Medicare benefits, instead saying that modernizing the system to reduce health care costs would be a more effective way of reducing the program's costs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/dick-durbin-social-security-fiscal-cliff_n_2199224.html?1354044164


You may apologize now. Or you can staunchly continue to CHUGG-CHUGG-CHUGG your moonshine kool-aid.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:54 AM

20. Are you kidding? "We're still in the negotiation stage" and our side is suggesting cuts to SS.

Do you suggest that Democrats/Progressives keep their mouth shut while those that are "representing" are putting SS on the table?

There is nothing wrong with being critical of what the leaders are saying. It's something they said, after all. Not something that was just made up.

And, just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't.

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Response to Dawgs (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:54 AM

27. I suggest that SOME

self-proclaimed Democrats/Progressives read my posts before responding. That would be nice.

As to your argument that there's "nothing wrong with being critical of what the leaders are saying. It's something they said, after all. Not something that was just made up." it's a pretty good argument to make, but that sage advice kind of lost its luster when a small but LOUD minority on this MB have had their hair on fire since 2010 and guess what? Social security hasn't been touched.

Shouldn't the president be granted some degree of the benefit of the doubt? I mean, he is the head of the Democratic Party, he's our president, and this is Democratic Underground, right? Fact of the matter is, he has said that social security is NOT on the table and by your standards, that too is not made up. Yet there is a consistent attempt here by a small but LOUD minority that he's going to cut the social safety net. The OP is a good example.

I'm still waiting for my apology by the OP, and I all but gave up hope. Then again, like you said . . . just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. Until such time, until the OP admits he jumped the shark on this one and he is wrong to put blame of what a senator said on the president who campaigned on the exact opposite, however, the OP has lost credibility to me as a Democrat.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:21 AM

11. It's hard to talk to a closed mind convinced that the glass is half empty.

CHUGGA-CHUGGA-CHUGGA backatcha.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:39 PM

36. How dare you demean the danger of cutting medicare/social security in ANY form?

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Response to robinlynne (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:13 PM

37. I dare because it's a bunch of unnecessary hyperventilating

by a handful of Anti-Obamanites on this MB. Spare me your poutrage, please.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #37)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:00 AM

38. by a handful of Democrats, you mean.

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Response to robinlynne (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:51 PM

39. By a handful of DUers.

I have NO PROOF, other than their anti-Obama posts, that they're Democrats. Sorry, but when I read some of their posts, I don't get the feeling I'm reading one written by a Democrat. Remember, this IS a public message board.

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:45 AM

18. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: "This is not a grand bargain for the needy, but for the greedy"

 

This so-called grand bargain reminds me of this quote from President Roosevelt vetoing revenue bill H. R. 3687.


In this respect it is not a tax bill but a tax relief bill providing relief not for the needy but for the greedy.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt







I agree with Cenk Uygur's analysis.








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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:57 AM

26. Q to PB: Who's cynical? Will you still laud Obama if Medicare and other entitlements are cut?

If so, you might change your moniker to Blind Loyalty.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:07 AM

10. We do get the small consolation of saying "We told you so".

 


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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:38 AM

13. And you'd be wrong.

See reply #12 and the update.

The OP's post is old news.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:11 AM

16. only time will tell.

the democrats have been telegraphing changes to SS/Medicare since the Simpson-Bowles commission, and I don't mean increases in benefits. you can't un-ring a bell, ya know....and durbin's little word game does nothing to ease my mind. time alone will tell what the democrats will do.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:22 AM

21. Didn't someone promise The Public Option once? Or am I wrong.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:03 PM

30. Didn't the NYT's recently announce that's the public option, buried in ObamaCare, is coming? Oh yeah

it did!

U.S. Set to Sponsor Health Insurance
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: October 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state.

These multistate plans were included in President Obama’s health care law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program — the public option sought by many liberal Democrats and reviled by Republicans. Supporters of the national plans say they will increase competition in state health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by a handful of companies.

The national plans will compete directly with other private insurers and may have some significant advantages, including a federal seal of approval. Premiums and benefits for the multistate insurance plans will be negotiated by the United States Office of Personnel Management, the agency that arranges health benefits for federal employees.

Walton J. Francis, the author of a consumer guide to health plans for federal employees, said the personnel agency had been “extraordinarily successful” in managing that program, which has more than 200 health plans, including about 20 offered nationwide. The personnel agency has earned high marks for its ability to secure good terms for federal workers through negotiation rather than heavy-handed regulation of insurers.

John J. O’Brien, the director of health care and insurance at the agency, said the new plans would be offered to individuals and small employers through the insurance exchanges being set up in every state under the 2010 health care law.

*snip*

To be eligible to participate in the multistate program, insurers must be licensed in every state. The Government Employees Health Association recently bought a company that has the licenses it would need.

*snip*

Robert E. Moffit, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said he worried that “the nationwide health plans, operating under terms and conditions set by the federal government, will become the robust public option that liberals always wanted.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/health/us-to-sponsor-health-insurance-plans-nationwide.html?_r=0


Looks like the Public Option is on its way, doesn't it? So, um, no, you're not wrong. Someone did promised a public option and that person is delivering as we speak.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:00 PM

32. See that's the thing about being right, there is no real argument after the fact.

 

All the true believers can do is make excuses and try to revise perceptions.

I continue to hope that I/we will be wrong, I've just been paying attention long enough to see how the ball bounces almost all of the time.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:50 AM

14. Your post is OUTDATED. Do keep up or keep CHUGGA-CHUGG-CHUGGA

corporate media kool-aid. But don't expect anyone to take your anti-Obama rants seriously.

UPDATE: 3:22 p.m. -- Later on Tuesday, after meeting with Senate Democrats, Durbin attempted to clarify his position on including Medicare and Medicaid in the fiscal cliff talks.

"What I'm saying is, what I'm talking about now is the immediate -- what takes us to the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff," he said, adding that Medicare and Medicaid should not be part of those talks. But, he said, "When you're talking about long-term deficit reduction, $4 trillion worth, entitlement reform needs to be part of it."

Social Security, too?

"No. Social Security you take off the table and put in a separate commission," Durbin said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a top deputy to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), echoed Durbin's remarks during an interview with MSNBC's Tamron Hall.

"With respect to Social Security, I agree with what the president has said and what Peter DeFazio said. Social Security is not part of the deficit and debt problem. We're not going to raid Social Security in order to balance other parts of the budget," Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen also rejected cutting Medicare benefits, instead saying that modernizing the system to reduce health care costs would be a more effective way of reducing the program's costs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/dick-durbin-social-security-fiscal-cliff_n_2199224.html?1354044164


Need a video to hear Sen. Durbin say Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is off the table? Here ya go.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/dick-durbin-social-security-fiscal-cliff_n_2199224.html?1354044164

We're in the middle of negotiations. To act as if anything any Senator says that's in direct conflict with what President Obama has promised and trying to pin it on him, is disingenuous at best.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:53 AM

15. EVERYTHING on the table? Even Senators' salaries and benefits?

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:23 AM

17. Not that it matters except to those who want to have a meaningful discussion


but cuts to Medicare do not necessarily entail cuts to beneficiaries.


For example if Medicare were free to negotiate the price of drugs with Pharma then that would be a cut to Medicare and zero cuts to beneficiaries.

There are companies that are taking advantage of Medicare and if those are the targets then it would mean cutting out corporate waste in Medicare and not reducing benefit.

I for one hope that they do cut those expenditures, but unless we know what they are cutting its really impossible to have a meaningful discussion on the subject.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:13 AM

19. Top tax rate to go to 70%

Raise the minimum wage to $20/hour
Cap exec pay to no more than what the President makes
Full benefits for every worker
Declare Fox a terrorist organization
No more corporate welfare anywhere in any state
If any exec gets stock then all employees get stock

This is where I would start

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:04 PM

34. Great start. Here are my additions (if EVERYTHING is on the table):

*Tax capital gains as ordinary income.
*Single-payer health care, to eliminate the billions we waste by relying on for-profit private insurance companies that try to deny care.
*Eliminate the cap on Social Security taxation, to put the system on a much sounder footing.
*Withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan within 60 days, followed by closing a large number of overseas bases.

Of course, back here in the real world, none of this is on the table.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:28 AM

22. Not true.

Durbin takes Social Security off the table
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/25/1164526/-Durbin-takes-Social-Security-off-the-table

Van Hollen takes Medicare age increase and Social Security off the table
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021891741

Sanders Applauds White House for Taking Social Security Off the Table in Deficit Talks
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014319000

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Response to ProSense (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:11 AM

24. You didn't read the article: Durban is talking 2013. Read the article! nt

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:57 AM

28. DurbIn! n/t

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Response to Inuca (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:00 PM

29. DurbIn! nt

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:34 AM

23. Are they putting war on the table?

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:11 PM

31. To 3rd Way Democrats, saying "No" is forbidden.

Phrases like "We don't have the votes", "We have to negotiate", "We have to compromise", are considered sacred texts. Not to mention "Contribute to my campaign".

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:24 PM

33. I don't see that he's specifiaclly mentioned Social Security cuts

so maybe he's just trying to be serious. This is disappointing, though.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

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