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Obama Wants to Be the President Who Rolled Back the New Deal

The president wants to cut Social Security and Medicare to protect the investor class.

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J Wolfe: Keep the stupid stuff but get rid of things people really need. Free pre-k schooling (ie., free daycare) but toss retirees (ie, boomers) under the bus. Nice. Does this president have any clue at all how to lead and manage anything more than a street rally? He is one of the most clueless, inept and unqualified presidents ever. I don’t see any cutbacks in his lavish 1% lifestyle even though people can barely afford to buy food and gas these days. Pathetic.

kamilyon: I am outraged: We don’t need a deficit reduction deal at all!!!

We need a strong economy through jobs, jobs, jobs! And reducing wealth inequality! And providing strong financial foundations for our people through safety-net programs so that we can be healthy, provide for our children, and take business risks, all while knowing we can survive with dignity into our old age!!!

Why did you even run as a democrat?

Thom: All democrats should be livid that President Obama is the one to propose the beginning of the end of important social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

This is yet another example of Obama saying one thing and doing the opposite – Gitmo, transparency, saving the middle class; now Social Security and Medicare.

Shame on you President Obama, once again you betray the ideals and hard work of the democratic party and the needs of the vast majority of Americans.

There was a lonely true believer:

HB: I don’t like these cuts, but I trust President Obama.

Maybe he’s making this compromise because he thinks it’s better for ordinary Americans on net, or maybe he’s bluffing as part of a political strategy to box in the other side. Either way, I won’t pretend to know better.

He understands the issues, he understands the politics, and he cares about ordinary families. I trust my president.

And the other approving comment was from someone taking the realist line. The thumbs ups on the comments so far were consistent: lots of approval from the readership for the critics, no affirmation for the lonely Obama stalwarts.

But Obama wants his legacy and the public be damned. And Bill Clinton proves that being a front person for neoliberalism is a very lucrative post-Presidential line of work.

So the question is who is going to join Obama in this wildly elite-serving budget? Will Congresscritters fall in line with what big donors want, or will they be chastened enough to remember the 2010 midterms, where the Obama-aligned Blue Dog Democrats were routed, but the more liberal Dems for the most part survived? Obama has never been very good about taking care of anyone but Obama, and Jeff Connaughton’s book The Payoff made clear that goes double for Biden.

In other words, the battle to get Obama’s fondly-desired Social Security cuts passed means persuading legislators to take a memorable vote that their constituents are likely to hold against them. Obama, as a lame duck, has fewer levers to pull than he once did. So this will be a test of the 11 dimensional chess view of Obama. Does he have the authority and bargaining skills to pull this one off, or will he beat a retreat and need to pretend it was a victory?

To be honest, I’ve never bought the 11 dimensional chess palaver. My wee theory is that Obama has a picture in his closet. In Oscar Wilde’s story, Dorian Gray sells his soul so that his portrait will age while he remains the beauty of the original image. Gray becomes increasingly debauched and his picture becomes more grotesque. Even an effort to reform makes the picture more frightful since Gray took up the idea only to see if it might reverse the uglification of his painting. Grey stabs the painting. His corpse is so withered and aged that it barely identifiable, but his picture has reverted to its former beauty.

 
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