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