Friday, April 5, 2013

Liberals getting distracted...again

Remember what happened when Obamacare was being negotiated? Liberals got COMPLETELY distracted into thinking the only important provision was the public option. That's part of the reason so many people to this day don't know what was actually included in the legislation. As far as I see it - the public option was much less important than things like the largest Medicaid expansion in the program's history, or the medical loss ratios, or the exchanges, or the end of denials for pre-existing conditions, etc.

Today I see the exact same thing happening in that the only thing people are talking about when it comes to President Obama's budget is the fact that it contains use of chained-CPI. As I wrote about earlier today, when we actually see the details of the budget, what should become obvious is that there will be built-in measures to eliminate the impact this change has on those that are most vulnerable. With those provisions, a 0.3% annual reduction in the inflationary increase of payments is just not that big of a deal.

What I find baffling (and terribly disappointing) is that so little attention is being paid to the fact that President Obama's budget will also include implementation of his proposal for universal pre-K. To quote Vice President Biden..."this is a big fucking deal!" 

I'm struggling a bit to understand why the silence on this one. Perhaps it has to do with some liberal's addiction to howling about the negative rather than pushing for the positive. In my darker moments, I wonder whether or not they actually give a shit about children.

Let me remind you of a few facts:
  • Looking solely at the federal budget, an elderly person receives close to seven federal dollars for every dollar received by a child.
  • Today, 22% of children (16 million) live in poverty in the United States
  • The longer a child lives in poverty, the tougher it can be for them to climb out later in life. According to an analysis by Columbia University’s National Center for Children in Poverty, 45 percent of people who spent at least half of their childhood in poverty were poor at age 35. Among those who spent less than half of their childhood in poverty, just 8 percent were poor at age 35.
  • There are now seven million American children whose families earn below 50 percent of the poverty line. And in the last decade, we learned quite a lot about what it does to children to grow up surrounded by the kind of everyday chaos that often accompanies life in a family that is earning less than $11,000 a year. Neuroscientists and developmental psychologists can now explain how early stress and trauma disrupt the healthy growth of the prefrontal cortex; how the absence of strong and supportive relationships with stable adults inhibits a child’s development of a crucial set of cognitive skills called executive functions.
For years now we've been hearing about how President Obama hasn't done enough to combat poverty. And yet here we have him proposing what might be one of the most effective anti-poverty initiatives in decades, and its being met with near total silence on the left.

I'm pretty pissed about all that. So you folks that are simply lighting your hair on fire about chained-CPI can go STFU as far as I'm concerned. 


  1. SP, I don't know why you're angry. It's as if you had this idea that your average liberal, in the post-Clinton era, had any interest in substantively alleviating poverty. I don't have that idea, and so I'm not mad. Disgusted, but not mad.

  2. There is a progressive coalition forming. It is MUCH larger than the emo-prog segment of society. Like the right's "moral majority" they vastly over estimate their numbers and their influence is waining. The next few decades will see movement to the left on policy in spite of the "true liberals" and (ironically) in part because of the "moral majority" folks on teh right.

  3. They're also busy calling him a "smarmy sexist" for his remarks in front of Kamala Harris. Anything to keep the PBO hate going, I guess.

  4. The expression knee-jerk liberal, with emphasis on jerk, has never been more true. Move on dot org, move on. Nothing to see here.

  5. Deaniac has a new piece on the budget:

    Oh, to have the megaphone that Ed Schultz has...

  6. What about the part of the President's proposal that raises taxes on the wealthy? Tinkering around the edges of SS in a way that won't hurt recipients will be well worth it if it breaks the back of the no-tax alliance.

    Personally, I feel that the President knows the GOP is not going to go for his plan for that very reason.


  7. Smartypants, keep in mind that the lefty knee-jerkers are playing their role in this, and it's actually valuable this time. Moderate/non-ideological voters will see the "freak-out" being had by President Obama's own "base", and he'll say, "Well, I took a risk and even made my own folks mad, but Republicans are unwilling to make any sacrifice to reach a balanced deal," and they'll see that he's telling the truth. What else can be done at this point, but show voters over and over again that the dysfunction is ALL on the Republicans. Period. And until we get rid of that problem, the dysfunction will remain.


  8. Oops! I just read your earlier post about chained CPi. Obviously, you'd already considered how the poutrage on the left will actually help President Obama in a way.

    Sorry I missed it. That'll teach me to read your posts out of order. {:-p


    1. But you said it SO much more eloquently than I did!!!

  9. Plus the affects of the ACA will mitigate any reduced increase in Social Security benefits, i.e. closing the donut hole.

  10. This has been my thought and comment when posts to my wall on face book are angry about the chained CPI.
    The only way the chained CPI would be considered in the President's Budget offer (and very likely never approved by the Democrats anyway) is if the Republicans agreed to raise revenue with an additional tax on the rich and closing loop holes in the tax code. The President knew they (the Republicans) would never agree to raise taxes for the much needed revenue. The chained CPI will not be approved and was never in any danger. BUT IT WAS OFFERED (with a caveat)...Democrats or the President aren't going to offer it and not get something in return. Knowing the Republicans would never agree to meet half way, the Democrats can now say they did.
    Pretty smart move.