Beil H. Buchanan, writing in Verdict, says:
Obama has already revealed himself to be unchanged by the election, and by the last two years of stonewalling by the Republicans. He still appears to believe, at best, in a milder version of orthodox Republican fiscal conservatism—an approach that would be a fitting starting position for a right-wing politician in negotiations with an actual Democrat. Moreover, he still seems to believe that the Republicans are willing to negotiate in good faith.
After months of hearing the Obama team say—quite correctly—that Social Security is not a part of any long-term deficit problems that might one day need to be addressed, their latest proposal adopted a method of measuring inflation to adjust Social Security benefits (and many other federal benefits and taxes) that would reduce benefits in the future.
This concession to Republicans’ insistence that spending on “entitlements” be cut right away was especially surprising, because there is evidence that senior citizens actually face higher price increases than are reflected in the current inflation measure, not lower price increases.
The White House’s broader spending proposals are so constrained that, as Eduardo Porter pointed out in an economic commentary in yesterday’s New York Times Business Section, it would reduce the federal government’s spending on items other than defense and those related to aging and health care to levels not seen since the Eisenhower Administration in the 1950’s. Support for sending worthy middle-class students to college, for spending on the Centers for Disease Control, for national parks, and so on, will all be cut disastrously (or even eliminated entirely).
At most, therefore, the Obama plan represents a complete capitulation to the Republicans’ long-term goals regarding government spending. Once one adds in the concessions that the White House shockingly offered this week, the newly-reelected Democratic President looks like a caretaker who is merely trying to tap the brakes as the Republicans continue to take and take from the rest of the country, in order to allow the wealthiest Americans to continue to solidify and expand their gains over the last thirty years.
Read full article: “How Many Times Will Speaker Boehner Save President Obama From Himself?”