Wednesday, December 19, 2012
President Obama on the Republican's stubborn refusal to compromise on fiscal cliff negotiations, "After this week we should have perspective."
cuts to Social Security. However it is important to note that the changes to Social Security are far less dire than many have been implying:
The White House proposal would raise $1.2 trillion in new revenue, in part by changing the treatment of itemized deductions, which will hit the rich hardest. It would extend unemployment benefits and boost infrastructure spending—both key pieces of economic stimulus. And it would prevent Republicans from holding the economy hostage over the debt ceiling for two years. But it would end the Bush tax cuts only for those making $400,000 or more—a climb-down from the $250,000 mark Obama had previously insisted on—while failing to extend the payroll tax cut, meaning middle-class taxes will rise. It would cut $1.22 trillion in spending. And, perhaps most controversially, it would cut Social Security by changing the way inflation is calculated, meaning payments grow more slowly, by about 0.3% each year.
So there are NO actual cuts to Social Security, however the growth of payments to match inflation is now reduced. Clearly not optimal but hardly catastrophic.
Compare that with the dangers of actual going over the fiscal cliff, or curve if you prefer, and you may have some idea as to why the President is working so hard to reach a deal:
If the current laws slated for 2013 go into effect, the impact on the economy would be dramatic. While the combination of higher taxes and spending cuts would reduce the deficit by an estimated $560 billion, the CBO estimates that the policies set to go into effect would cut gross domestic product (GDP) by four percentage points in 2013, sending the economy into a recession (i.e., negative growth). At the same time, it predicts unemployment would rise by almost a full percentage point, with a loss of about two million jobs. A Wall St. Journal article from May 16, 2012 estimates the following impact in dollar terms: “In all, according to an analysis by J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli, $280 billion would be pulled out of the economy by the sunsetting of the Bush tax cuts; $125 billion from the expiration of the Obama payroll-tax holiday; $40 billion from the expiration of emergency unemployment benefits; and $98 billion from Budget Control Act spending cuts. In all, the tax increases and spending cuts make up about 3.5% of GDP, with the Bush tax cuts making up about half of that, according to the J.P. Morgan report.” Amid an already-fragile recovery and elevated unemployment, the economy is not in a position to avoid this type of shock.
So although the President just won reelection, and is currently enjoying the highest poll numbers since he killed Osama Bin Laden, the fact remains that he realizes it is HIS job to protect the American people from a possible recession and dramatic job loss.
I don't think it makes a difference to the President WHO gets blamed, his job is to make sure it never happens. You see unlike a certain party of douchebags I could name, Obama does not play politics with the lives of the American people.
And how did this party of douchebags respond to these remarks by the President? Much like you would imagine:
Boehner, R-Ohio, responded to Obama with a defiant tone. In an appearance before reporters that lasted under a minute, Boehner called on Obama to offer a deficit-cutting plan balanced between spending cuts and tax increases and predicted that the House would pass his backup plan.
"Then the president will have a decision to make," Boehner said. "He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history."
Essentially Boehner said "Fuck it, let it burn!"
I think the next time I see one of those Teabagger assholes holding an "America First" sign I am going to punch him right in the face.