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Any More Such Victories

January 2, 2013

will be our undoing.

From Bold Progressives

TOM COLE: Again, I would prefer not to raise taxes on anybody. But we protected almost every American. We did it at a higher income level than the President campaigned on. And again, frankly, we’ve denied him I think his most important piece of leverage in any negotiation going forward. So I particularly like that part. I understand unemployment extension. I prefer, you know, a more focused effort in that regard. But we do have parts of the country where that’s necessary and it’s a fair compromise. The entitlement issue, just too much to deal with I think in one piece of legislation. But again, still sequester is in front of us. The continuing resolution runs out the end of march and obviously the debt ceiling. All of those things honestly are Republican leverage not Democratic so I think there will be opportunities to deal with the spending issue next year. Honestly I expect that will be the dominant issue along with trying to overhaul the tax code going forward. So that’s usually pretty good ground for Republicans.

When you fight a battle on your opponent’s terms, any victory achieved will be Pyrrhic at best.

The negotiations on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” were always argued on Republican terms, and we ended up with Democrats passing a bill that will raise taxes on the working class, by failing to extend or replace the payroll tax reduction, and make permanent 98% of the Bush tax cuts. They’ve also pissed away most of their leverage in the upcoming debt ceiling fight by failing to address the sequestered spending cuts and timing the extension to coincide exactly with the debt ceiling deadline. Convenient!!

This, I’m told is what we are now supposed to celebrate as a victory.

Ain’t bipartisanship grand?

We’ve been fighting this war for 80 years. It isn’t about deficits. It isn’t about debts. It really isn’t even about taxes. It’s about dismantling Social Security, Medicare, and every other social program and regulation put in place since the Gilded Age.

It’s about repealing the twentieth century, and it always has been.

Republicans understand that they can’t win elections with an honest portrayal of their platform, so they hide it behind “entitlement reform” and “small government”. They intend to strangle our safety-net programs and regulatory agencies right out of existence through tax cuts and austerity, and Democrats are preparing to hand them the garrote.

That rumbling sound you hear is coming from FDR’s grave.

“Let me warn you, and let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion that says ‘Of course we believe these things. We believe in social security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die.

‘We believe in all these things. But we do not like the way that the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything'”

FDR, 1936

Social Security and Medicare are our birthright. They were designed and implemented by courageous Democrats who believed in the power of government to help people. They may not be perfect, but they’re all we have. You don’t get to call yourself a Democrat and then serve these precious programs to the wolves in the GOP to be devoured by privatization and benefit cuts.

The next fight isn’t going to be over some arbitrary, self-inflicted non-crisis. It’s going to be the debt ceiling, which has enormous economic and political consequences. The President already offered Social Security cuts over the stupid fiscal curb, what do you think he’s prepared to give away over the debt ceiling? Retirement age? Means testing? Unless he plans on turning a complete 180 from his well established negotiating style, we’ll be passing the George W. Bush Social Security Privatization bill before March 1st.

But it’ll be a great victory for bipartisanship, so I guess we can’t complain.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2013 10:08 pm

    What’s all this malarkey about making tax cuts for 98% of Americans permanent?

    All it takes to increase (or decrease) taxes is passage of a bill in Congress. If this recent bill does not provide for sufficient revenue to operate the government, voters can elect better congress-critters who will do what the voters want, right?

    • January 3, 2013 1:30 pm

      In a perfect world. Unfortunately we don’t live there yet. Over two-thirds of the nation supported raising taxes on those making over 250k a year and we couldn’t do that. These cuts are permanent in that they do not expire, so for the foreseeable future they’re not going anywhere.

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