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Methinks Obama’s offer of cuts in Social Security and Medicare is a trap he’s laid for Republicans

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As far as I know, I’m the only political observer in the land who sees a clever ruse in President Obama’s purported WILLINGNESS to make cuts in Social Security and Medicare as part of a deal with Republicans to lower the federal debt.

Follow me on this:

Obama’s Democratic base is not going to take kindly to any significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare, which is exactly why I don’t think it will happen.

But a more important point is that Republicans aren’t going to budge on Obama’s demand that the deal on the debt include a rollback of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — even if entitlement cuts are part of the package.

Obama recognizes that the GOP is now a captive of the Tea Party kooks and other anti-tax zealots. He knows that there wouldn’t be enough Republican votes in the House to increase taxes on rich folks, no matter what else is part of the deal.

So, when the so-called compromise he has proposed collapses, Obama will be able to tell the nation a provocative story of Republican intransigence born entirely of fealty to the rich.

You’re probably asking how this scenario will avoid a U.S. default on its debts. Well, I don’t have that completely figured out, but it might be that the Obama administration will opt for the constitutional remedy we discussed HERE yesterday.

My theory on all of this might prove to be completely unfounded. But if it turns out that I’m right, remember where you heard it first.

POSTSCRIPT: Regarding that aforementioned “constitutional remedy,” it says HERE that such a prospect makes Republicans very nervous.

An excerpt:

The issue is one of leverage — if the “14th Amendment Option” (or, “Constitutional Option”) is legitimate, the Republican hostage strategy starts to crumble. There would be a built-in safety valve in the event talks collapse and the GOP decides to go through with the party’s threats.

In other words, right now, Republican leaders are saying, “Meet our demands or we’ll shoot the hostage.” If this constitutional work-around is a viable alternative, the president can say, “Never mind, I’ve found a way to save the hostage without you.”

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8 Comments

  1. expdoc

    Oh yes, a clever ruse.

    No real intention of fixing an actual fiscal crisis. Leadership…er I mean politics at it’s best.

  2. doc: When are you ever going to grow up?

    American politics has always been a game of dodges and ruses, subterfuge and charades. It’s been played that way since the 1790s. Lincoln played it that way. So did both of the Roosevelts and even St. Ronnie Reagan.

    Your notion of “leadership” devoid of any political stratagems is naive in the extreme. Granted, guileless, undiluted political integrity arises every once in a blue moon, but it’s exceedingly rare in either political party.

    Moreover, my suspicion of a ruse on Obama’s part does not mean that he has “no real intention of fixing an actual fiscal crisis,” as you put it. There’s more than one way to score a touchdown, as any football coach will tell you. Sometimes, it takes a trick play.

  3. expdoc

    I am fully grown, thanks.

  4. Not politically, you ain’t. On that score, you’re a proverbial babe in the woods. You think true political leadership must hew to the formula in a fourth-grade civics textbook.

  5. expdoc

    I understand your game better than you think I do Mr. C.

  6. Sure you doc, and any day now, you’re going to prove it.

    By the way, it’s not my game, doc. It’s the game of virtually every successful American politician since the days of powdered wigs. Countless books have been written on the subject. You should read a few of them.

    A good place to start would be “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” It’s full of stories of Old Abe’s political ruses and stratagems. After all, you don’t get to be a political genius without using such tactics. Your failure to recognize that truism in the context of this post is what betrays your political naivete.

  7. expdoc

    No, I meant to say YOUR game.

  8. Doesn’t anyone understand the Constitution? The President is NOT empowered to control spending. ONLY The Congress controls spending. The President is a butler; read his approx 10 powers and think about it. Everything else believed about the President’s authority is a lie, brainwashed into your minds. Will the President exercise powers that are not lawfully his? Probably because Americans are gutless. They elected him and we will get what we deserve for either doing so or allowing such to happen. If Obama fails to faithfully execute the laws (passed by Congress), he commits an impeachable offense.

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