The Nation magazine is launching a pre-emptive strike against the president to keep him from reaching any grand bargain with the Congressional Republicans. The most insidious claim though comes in the form of utter fiction, a lie: they are claiming that a grand bargain would lower taxes on the wealthy and pay for it by cutting Medicare. Here's what The Nation had to say:
Election Day was a rousing victory for progressive and middle-class populism. In the face of this mandate, the “grand bargain” would lower top rates on the wealthy and corporations, target Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for cuts and inflict job-killing austerity.Not to be left behind, joining the freakout brigade is CREDO, the "progressive" phone company that will severely overcharge you and then donate a tiny portion of your bill to certain causes that you would be better off saving the money and donating yourself. Joining the MediScare brigade, Ed Schultz last night completely flipped out about David Plouffe's comment that in the fiscal cliff negotiations, Republicans are going to have to give on raising tax rates on the people on the top, while Democrats will have to make some tough choices to reduce the deficit and "engage in entitlement reform." Oh, noooo! He said entitlement reform!!!! He's selling us out!!
There is of course no specific proposal threatening any of the social safety net programs coming from the White House. In fact, as I pointed out a gazillion times before, this president's record is one of increasing benefits under Medicare while adding to the life of the Medicare trust fund, and massively expanding Medicaid through health care reform. This is the same health care reform that these same jokers tried to kill because they didn't get their public option pony. In every rational sense, if anyone has lost credibility on protecting entitlements, it's the whining morons on the Left.
Let's get a few facts straight here for the screaming Left. First of all, election day was a rousing victory for the President. It was a rebuke against ideological purity, and a mandate for pragmatism. The president campaigned on both increasing taxes on the wealthy and doing what he called modest adjustments to entitlement programs to make them solvent for the foreseeable future. The president has the credibility to do it: I point you back to health care reform, where the president staved nearly a trillion in costs from Medicare while adding to its benefits. Second, it appears that the ideologues have stuck their fingers in their ears when the president - and every Democratic leader and White House representative, including Plouffe - have insisted that taxes on the rich are going up, period. The Nation, Ed Schultz, and others are making it up as they go along. They are lying to you.
Again and again, it has been the ideologue Left that has abandoned the middle class and the poor when the president has fought for them. They abandoned - no, openly opposed - the fight to get health care reform done. They opposed Wall Street Reform, because it wasn't "good enough." At the end of 2010, when the president was busy crafting a deal to protect the middle class tax breaks, unemployment benefits and creating a new tax cut for the working poor (payroll tax cut), these same usual suspects insisted that the president abandon the middle class in order to prove some sort of a weird point.
There are a group of people who cannot be trusted to stick by the middle class, but they don't work for the White House. They work for and permeate the spectrum of Left media, and they have shown an willingness - indeed, a demand - to abandon the interests of the middle class and the poor in order to prove ideological points.
When the president was busy trying to keep this country from going into a fiscal default in 2011, these same voices grew louder and louder in protest even as the president protected Medicaid, Medicare benefits, and programs for the poor and needy while putting defense on the chopping block should Congress fail to get its act together.
Let me make this clear: this president's record has been to expand benefits under the social safety net programs while reducing cost, while the Professional Left's record has consisted of trying to pull him off from doing things that resulted in those expansions and cost savings. When you look at the facts, it isn't exactly a puzzle as to who you should trust to protect and defend them. I have no doubt that should there be entitlement reform (and yes, it's time liberals stopped seeing that phrase and having heart attacks) in the efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff, you can count on President Obama to ensure that those reforms strengthen those programs.
President Obama is not going to "cut" Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. President Obama has always protected those cornerstones of American society, and he will do it again. If you want to strengthen those programs, and make sure they are there for posterity, what you need to do is what Leo Gerard of the United Steeleworkers told everyone on the Left to do: have this president's back. Focus your energy on Congress. Here's an idea for CREDO, a phone company: give all your subscribers free minutes to call Congress about the fiscal cliff.
If you want to know who will stick by you when the going gets rough, look at the man who survived withering attacks from the Right and the ideologue Left to do the right thing for the country time and again. Look to those who have stuck by him.
It's time to stand up to the scare tactics of the Professional Left. It's time to have the president's back from these backstabbers. It's time to stand up call them out on their bull.