Obama’s Budget: Let’s Not Panic People!

Prepare yourself reader—I have a lot of hate stored up in my heart.  Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m really tired of everyone in politics being such stupid douche bags all the time.  Everybody’s come out this week in opposition to the President’s budget, and they’re all just having a ho-down hate fest saying how awful it is…and almost everything they’re saying is just fantastically stupid.

As usual, the Republicans are the worst offenders, because they’re attacking it on two fronts that—not surprisingly—completely contradict each other.  On one hand, they’re saying that the chained CPI idea (I’ll explain what this actually is at the end of my rant), which will reduce Social Security benefits, is an attack on seniors.  We’ll get to the other hand in a moment, but this first tactic is purely a political charade, as we all know, because they’ve continually called upon the President and Democrats to be willing to cut entitlements, and in the Republican House, they passed the Paul Ryan budget, which voucherizes Medicare.  Let’s put it this way: if chained CPI is an attack on seniors, voucherizing Medicare is a death sentence.

What’s ridiculous is that liberal pundits are now worried that Republicans will be able to use this part of President’s budget to attack Democrats in the midterm elections.  I’ve got news for you dumbfucks: it won’t work on anyone voting for Democrats (smart people).  Let’s recall that most seniors vote for Republicans anyway, because the “Greatest Generation” is also the dumbest, most gullible generation—more on that later—so really, it won’t matter with that demographic.  The seniors that are dumb will continue to vote for Republicans because they’re old, crusty fucks who complain about socialism while they leech off of the government, and the seniors that are smart WON’T ever vote for Republicans, because they’re smart.

What’s more, Republicans crying “wolf” about Social Security won’t work on anyone with half of a brain, because everyone knows definitively that Republicans want cut entitlements as much as possible.  Remember last election, when Romney and the Confederates tried to run around saying how horrible it was that Obama cut $700 billion from Medicare, while at the same time running a VP nominee that used that same cuts in his budget AND turned Medicare into a voucher system for private insurance?  How’d that work out?  Oh yeah, they lost the election by 125 electoral votes.  So no one that’s worth a damn is going to vote for Republicans because the President proposed chained CPI.

Of course (this is the other hand I referred to earlier), while trying to claim that the President and Democrats are the enemies of Social Security, Republicans are also going to say that they’re willing to accept chained CPI, but not any new revenue in the budget that would be collected by closing tax loopholes for corporations and the fantastically wealthy.  And this, once again, demonstrates how badly the deck is stacked against truly good leaders like President Obama.   Because, instead of just ragging on everything the poor guy does and blaming him for problems that are clearly not his fault, what the press should be focusing on is how absurd it is for the Republicans to both accept and attack the same idea for chained CPI, all while being completely unwilling to raise any more revenue, even if it’s on those who can certainly afford it.

In other words, this budget shows the GOP to be a completely unserious party.  Most of us knew that already, but it makes it agonizingly clear to the Very Serious People in Washington, as well as to every regular person in America—especially moderate, disillusioned Republicans.  America is sick and tired of GOP politicians who bitch constantly about the need for deficit reduction by cutting entitlements, but then refuse, when given a chance, to reduce the deficit by cutting entitlements.  They complain about, and even attempt to pass into law, heinously draconian cuts to entitlement programs, but then want to use cuts to entitlement programs as a political weapon when the other side agrees to cuts they’ve been proposing all along!  That is the point of the budget.  This budget makes Republicans and the small-dicked journalists that give them cover, look utterly ridiculous.

Everyone in politics has heard the chicken-wiener club (Krauthammer, Gerson, Milbank, Lane, Lowry, Brooks, etc.) complain that Obama doesn’t provide leadership: yet here the President is willing to buck his own party and meet somewhere in the middle.  They complain about deficit reduction: this budget would go a long way toward reducing the deficit and some of the financial burdens placed on our long-term fiscal health.  They complain that the President is too left wing: this budget is as moderately centrist as humanly possible, if not leaning right.  What can they really say now?  Indeed, what can anyone say?

It’s called triangulation.  The President is taking the political center, and this budget makes anyone to the right of him look completely absurd.  The only tenable position is to run to the left in opposition to the chained CPI cuts to Social Security.  Seriously, think about it: what are Republicans going to run on in 2014—fiscal responsibility?  What a laugh!  How can they possibly run on fiscal responsibility if they oppose this budget?

Thus, Democrats can run with the President, or to the left of the President. This means that in the 2014 midterms, any Republican is going to look insane and totally unserious, and their Democratic opposition can then choose the policy that will play better to their constituents, whether that means agreeing with the President’s budget, or opposing it, but opposing it from the left.

This budget is brilliant.  It wasn’t intended as serious policy—it was intended to reframe the policy debate in Washington to favor Democrats in the midterms.  Republicans and the little birds can run around all they want trying to play politics with it, but in the end it’s going to make them look even worse, and less serious, than they do now.

So Democrats and liberals just need to calm the fuck down.  It doesn’t mean we need to agree with the things in the budget we don’t like.  It just means we don’t need to badmouth the President and take this budget as a sign he is abandoning us—he’s not.  And hey, aren’t we supposed to be a little more sophisticated than to run around panicking as if the sky is falling?

OK, now for the policy explanation: Chained CPI basically just changes the way the government calculates increases for Social Security to keep up with inflation.  In short, it means that the checks seniors receive from Social Security would be smaller than under current policy—if you want a more in-depth explanation, see the hyperlink.

Now, what everyone needs to understand in this context is that Social Security doesn’t add a dime to the deficit.  Social Security is entirely funded by the payroll tax, and is in fact separate from the rest of the budget.  So chained CPI would not reduce the deficit, which is why it’s kind of a dumb idea; however, it would decrease the outlays for Social Security, making it less likely that at some point in the future, the government would have to divert funds from the general budget into the Social Security trust fund.

Well, I really wanted to rant about the “Greatest” generation today, but I think it will fit better into the next blog, which will be about how our society is failing because the people in charge have shown a failure of nobility, decency, and leadership.

About The Author: Jay Scott

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