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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:22 AM

Krugman on defending health care reform versus chained CPI

First things first: cutting Social Security benefits is a cruel, stupid policy ó just not nearly as cruel and stupid as raising the Medicare eligibility age. But sometimes you have to accept bad things in pursuit of a larger goal: health reform should have included a public option ó heck, it should have gone straight to single-payer ó but a flawed route to universal coverage was better than none at all.

The question about this looming deal is whether the end justifies the means. Unfortunately, itís not nearly as clear a case as the health care deal, and Iím agonizing, big time; as of last night I was marginally positive, right now marginally negative.

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This is not good; thereís no good policy reason to be doing this, because the savings wonít have any significant impact on the underlying budget issues. And for many older people it would hurt. Also, the symbolism of a Democratic president cutting Social Security is pretty awful.

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I understand that Obama prefers not to go over the cliff and face the political and economic uncertainty that this opens up; maybe my assumption that he can still get the middle-class tax cuts is wrong. On the other hand, cutting Social Security, even modestly, is a very big concession, especially because, as I said, itís cruel and stupid viewed purely as policy.


http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/the-deal-dilemma/

The health care law moved in a positive direction, and it's working out quite well.

Having failed to repeal Obamacare, Republicans refuse to implement it
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021978966

It also can be improved upon.

The current proposal affects Social Security and seniors negatively, and it's unnecessary.

11 replies, 1126 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Krugman on defending health care reform versus chained CPI (Original post)
ProSense Dec 2012 OP
newfie11 Dec 2012 #1
frazzled Dec 2012 #2
Selatius Dec 2012 #3
jsr Dec 2012 #4
KharmaTrain Dec 2012 #5
pscot Dec 2012 #7
KharmaTrain Dec 2012 #8
pscot Dec 2012 #11
pscot Dec 2012 #6
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #9
buzzroller Dec 2012 #10

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:43 AM

1. And it will cost the Democratic Party dearly nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:52 AM

2. This is from several days ago, but you left out his "conclusion"

So am I dead set against? No, Iím still agonizing.


The thing I would like to know more about are the provisions to which the president has alluded that would exempt Social Security disability recipients, and also the provisions it is claimed will protect the less wealthy seniors. Have those been written in stone in this offer? Or are they still vague proposals?

Who knows if it even matters, because we may well go over the cliff and all this negotiation will restart at zero next year.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:54 AM

3. I tend to be to the left of many on economic issues, but here I'm in agreement.

There's no point in this route.

With the health insurance bill, I was upset over the deletion of the Public Option mainly because there was no crack in the door left open to the left that could be slid open. Of course, now I'm of the mind that we'll revisit the issue in 20 or 30 years, and maybe then we'll add in a Public Option. Hopefully, it'll be revisited in 10 years.

But with this Social Security cut, this isn't laying down any foundation to build upon. It is capitulation. Worse, Social Security basically has nothing to do with the deficits being run up under the General Fund. Social Security doesn't have a place in the deficit debate, yet here it is being offered on the table. What are the Republicans going to promise in return for this concession? Their word that they won't blow up the dollar in the next debt ceiling crisis?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:58 AM

4. Yep. It's unnecessary, stupid, and cruel.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:01 AM

5. The Art Of The Compromise...

...usually leaves both sides feeling they gave up the most. As with the majority here I don't want to see SS touched...it has nothing to do with the defecit. I don't want to see Medicare touched as this is the lifeline for millions of middle and low income Americans. The rushpublicans are as steadfast against any type of tax hike...fearing Grover and the hate radio crowd...and, unfortunately, without 25 or so of their votes, no budget deal will get done. Now this is well and good for the "cliff" on January 1 but this leads to a fight over extending the debt ceiling that will lead to a government shut down and ultimately letting the rushpublicans stall not just this issue but every other important legislative goal...immigration reform and we'll be back to this mess with bigger cuts being pushed.

So...if you want a deal...and supposedly a majority of American do. You want rushpublicans to agree to raising taxes...want do you offer in exchange. Yes...negotiate...compromise...find a common ground. Where is it? If you're not willing to touch SS...then what? Yes...I know we cut defense to 0...but that's a non-starter...there's too much pork for both parties. So what gets cut? I'm curious if there are any creative solutions out there rather than playing the "my way or the highway" game. To get a deal, what are you willing to take the hit on?

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:10 AM

7. Democrats don't "need" a deal

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Response to pscot (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:17 AM

8. Then Be Prepared For One Cliff After Another...

...are you prepared if the government shuts down and you can't get an SS or other check? Or that millions will see their unemployment insurance lapse with no place to turn? Or medicare payments aren't made? These are a few of the "fun" things in store if some kind of deal isn't worked that raises the debt ceiling. Yes...this is a big deal...unless you're ready to take the political hit when people start wondering where their checks are or why services are shut down.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 02:13 PM

11. That's just what the Republicans have given us

You think caving in to them will suddenly make them change their ways? THat's what's put us in the mess we're in. Christ, let's show a little courage fpr a change.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:06 AM

6. "thereís no good policy reason to be doing this"

So why do it?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:18 AM

9. itís cruel and stupid.

Stupid is as stupid does. Mean and flinty and also an announcement that all decent people are no longer represented in DC in any way, shape or form.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:23 AM

10. Is it good politics?

Even if some cut to social security were necessary to get a deal, it is foolish for the Democrats to take ownership of the cuts.
Cutting social security will be used against them. It is possible that the R's insisted on the President proposing the cuts, but not likely. Let the R's insist if it has to be done.

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