Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cave Story, Fiscal Slope Remix

And so it begins:  the Village pundits have heard Obama's going to cave on Medicare/SS, so it MUST BE TRUE AND IT'S TIME TO PANIC.  The guy leading the panicking?  Paul Krugman, go figure.

Ezra Klein says that the shape of a fiscal cliff deal is clear: only a 37 percent rate on top incomes, and a rise in the Medicare eligibility age.

I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that this is just a case of creeping Broderism, that it’s a VSP fantasy about how we’re going to resolve this in a bipartisan way. Because if Obama really does make this deal, there will be hell to pay.

Yes, this is a stupid deal.  It's a stupid deal that completely undermines and contradicts everything the President has said.

So this looks crazy to me; it looks like a deal that makes no sense either substantively or in terms of the actual bargaining strength of the parties. And if it does happen, the disillusionment on the Democratic side would be huge. All that effort to reelect Obama, and the first thing he does is give away two years of Medicare? How’s that going to play in future attempts to get out the vote?

If anyone in the White House is seriously thinking along these lines, please stop it right now.

Kroog at least hits on the point here.   Whoever leaked this deal sure wanted Democrats to panic.  Who benefits from that in the short run?  The Republicans.  How about the long run?  Depends on what Obama does.  If he says this "deal" is patently ridiculous, will anyone notice?

What about all the other times Obama was supposedly going to immediately cave on Medicare and SS?  It didn't happen then, did it?  But every time we get to this point in a Republican-created crisis, it's always the same people who swear Obama is the one who is going to cave.  When he doesn't, they congratulate themselves for being the sole reason Obama didn't cave, and remain ready at a moment's notice to brutally attack the President for something he has never done as soon as one of these rumors comes along again.

They've been 100% wrong so far.

What makes you think they are correct this time?

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