Crappy Deal Emerging

Filed in National by on November 29, 2012

This deal clearly sucks, but when you have blue state Democrats like John Carney and Chris Coons saying, “OMGZ!!! THE DEBT!!! Medicaid is wrecking the country!!” – you lose a lot of your negotiating strength.

Politico is  reporting that “top officials” involved in negotiations have said that “the countours of a deal” are taking shape.

Three big elements to the deal:

  • $1.2 trillion in tax hikes—halfway between the $1.6 trillion sought by the president and the $800 billion that “Republicans say they could stomach.”
  • $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to replace the sequester’s automatic cuts
  • At least $400 billion in entitlement cuts, primarily to Medicare—including means testing and raising the retirement age starting in 10 to 20 years. (The report doesn’t say whether these would be part of the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.)

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (31)

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  1. puck says:

    I’m going to need that Medicare, because I will probably be a Walmart greeter from about age 62 until Social Security eligibility at 67.

  2. socialistic ben says:

    here is my surprised face. Actually, im surprised there will be any tax increase at all. I mean, after all, the GOP won the election.

  3. Truth Teller says:

    The president should let us go over the slope for in January the Repuk’s will have a choice of raising taxes on 97% of the country if Obama plan is not passed. There are some good cuts in the program and they can be adjusted by the President. This time if the repuk’s fail to raise the debt ceiling Obama has the constitution option and he should use it.

    As far as Coons and Carney go they should get their asses in line behind the president and stop acting like Repuk’s we will never forget if they fail to act in our interest.

  4. puck says:

    Coons and Carney will definitely get in line behind the President. I’m more worried about which way the President is going. The lack of a veto threat on Medicare cuts is a bad sign. Hopefully Reid will pronounce the cuts DOA. If Reid starts playing footsie with the Medicare cuts it’s game over.

    Maybe it’s time to remind Republicans they just finished attacking Obama for Medicare cuts (phony-baloney attacks on the Medicare Advantage cost-trimming, but still).

  5. cassandra_m says:

    While I’d prefer that there were no changes to Medicare in this deal, these are changes to Medicare 10 to 20 years out. This is called kicking the can down the road, while the GOP gets to claim some cuts. This ends up sort of like the fee cuts that doctors are supposed to take. Fee cuts that get postponed year after year after year. It is 10 – 20 years that Obamacare gets to be in full swing and more than enough time to figure out if letting younger people buy into Medicare (as a public option) is a good enough long term fix.

    Unlike Social Security, Medicare costs are a genuine problem that needs to be addressed. This pretty much lets the Obamacare savings get into play and lets Congress pretend to have done something.

  6. SussexAnon says:

    Gee, the Pres giving away the store before negotiations begin.

    Why am I not surprised? That Affordable Care Act worked out so well, lets do it again with entitlement reform. Only lets make it more muddled and difficult to understand this time.

    We wouldnt have a Medicare debate if we had single payer. Thanks Mr. President and Senator Carper.

  7. puck says:

    I propose we start calling it “entitlement funding reform.” Reform the funding, not the benefits.

    I don’t want Democrats going into mid-terms with Medicare cuts on their hands, passed by mostly Democrats and a few Republicans, and signed by our President. Republicans would just love that.

  8. Jason330 says:

    @Puck – “’s time to remind Republican attacks on Obama for the Medicare Advantage cost-trimming…” How are House Dems supposed to remember stuff that happened two months ago?


    Boehner: “First, despite claims that the president supports a balanced approach, Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts,”

    Translation: “Where is the $10.00 in cuts for every $1.00 in tax increases?”

  9. puck says:

    Democrats should offer up Medicare Part D on the altar of entitlement cuts.

  10. socialistic ben says:

    I kinda wish they would stop dancing around SS and just raise it to 67 for everyone currently under 30. keep reading before you pounce…..
    1, most of the people who vote for it will be dead by the time it goes into effect, and as people who will have to worry about those 2 added years trickle into congress, it can always be moved back down.
    Second; for everyone under 30, the time before OUR SS kicks in is already a lot longer than we have been alive. 40 years is a long ways away for me, and even if I keep my modest wage and lifestyle, it is STILL enough time for me to save and plan for 2 extra years.
    To be perfectly honest, the way things are going i don’t expect to have SS when im 65, or 67… or at all, so no matter what we do with it is moot IMO. It is going away and all people my age can (and ought to) do is start saving for retirement now. Not that i don’t want SS, or think it SHOULDN’T be around, I’m just a huge gloomy-gus pessimist and try to look at things realistically.
    I know it’s a sacred cow, and im some sort of brain-washed teabag zombie shit-face for even suggesting it, but again…. Give the old white turd-blossoms what they want in exchange for good solid revenue increases, and change it after they are good and dead… you would have almost 40 years to reverse it. As a member of the would-be effect group, i can say im willing to gamble 2 years of something i dont expect to exist anyway.

  11. Geezer says:

    Ben: It’s already 67 until you get full benefits for anyone your age.

    The real problem is withholding Medicare until 67, because there’s no way to get insurance at age 65.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    Presumably *age* is one of those pre-existing conditions that insurance companies can no longer use against you to either deny or make more expensive your coverage. It will shift the insurance costs back to the private pool, where everyone will need to pay more, because this older cohort won’t be cheap to cover.

  13. socialistic ben says:

    I’m not in support of that….. well, not really. Im in support of full universal single payer health care… so at what age Medicare kicks in doesn’t really matter. In a perfect world there wouldn’t be “Medicare” there would just be “health coverage”
    SS, to me, is just a watered down government pension…. something that should exist in effect, but I don’t need it to be exactly what it is right now. As long as there is a universal safety net for the elderly, i don’t really care what it is called, or how it is funded. For example, if my current job stays the way it is for another 35 years, i will have a pretty decent pension. I also expect to stay active and somewhat profitable all my life, so I may not need an added income supplement… especially if my healthcare, and my family’s health care is universally covered. I would not be opposed to SS turning into some sort of Medicaid-like backstop for people who aren’t fortunate enough to have a pension, or retire with millions saved up.

  14. puck says:

    Ben… come back to the reality-based community.

    The idea that Social Security will go bankrupt by 20** is another bit of austerity hysteria (austeria?). You really need to fight that whenever you see it. It is very damaging to any rational discussion of the economy.

    What WILL happen is that in 2033 (as of now), Social Security will no longer take in enough money to pay full benefits. It WILL be able to pay about three-quarters benefits – it will NOT go bankrupt or disappear. We don’t have to replace 100% of Social Security funding – we only need to increase funding now to cover that 25% shortfall when it comes. America is wealthy enough to do that without breaking a sweat. So to keep paying full benefits, we need to make minor changes now.

    It’s still good to start saving for retirement now. A dollar you put away now is worth ten dollars you put away after age 45 (I just made that up but you get the point). Anybody who maxes out their 401(k) their whole life will retire a multi-millionaire, even with a modest job. Especially if you buy a house and manage to pay it off before retirement.

  15. socialistic ben says:

    I don’t think it will go bankrupt. That isn’t why I think it wont be available to us. In fact, the biggest problem with SS right now is the retiring Baby-boomers who had less kids than their parents did. THAT problem will be fixed when they….. are no longer collecting…. imbalance solved. It is as simple as waiting for people to get old and die. The reason I think it wont be around is people who think the way you think I think (get all that? :). I feel like public sentiment is moving against it, and what was once a crazy fringe idea, is now somewhat mainstream. Better to shore up now in anticipation of the crazy…. and possible replace it for something better…. require companies to offer all full time employees a pension plan after they have been there for… say 5 years… make it fixed benefit. Like Pa-Pa Scrooge said…. if everyone has to do it, it is still a fair game. Sure, bosses and CEO’s make less…. maybe wages go down a little…. Id rather make less now and have more when I retire.
    there are lots of changes gaining momentum…. a lot of them…. marriage equality, pay equality…. etc are great things that we want… but some of them are things we don’t want, and to think they won’t happen just because we don’t want them to is irresponsible.

  16. puck says:

    “It is as simple as waiting for people to get old and die.”

    Hey! I’m right here, you know!

  17. pandora says:

    LOL! Insolent puppy.

  18. mediawatch says:

    One thing Puck missed in his otherwise fine response is setting you straight on this hypothesis: ” if my current job stays the way it is for another 35 years…”
    You have very seriously got to be kidding yourself. When you turn 50, unless you own your own business, The Man (or The Woman) will start looking for a way to show you the door so you can be replaced with someone who can do a lot of what you’re doing for about half the cost.
    Do NOT expect to be in the same job for your working lifetime, and start thinking now about what kind of work you’d really like to do in your 50s, because there’s a good chance you’ll be self-employed by then.

  19. Geezer says:

    The population problem will be solved a lot sooner, when we allow more immigrants in.

    Ben, you might THINK you’re going to work until age 67, or 70, or whatever, but that’s not up to you — it’s up to your employer, and there are major disincentives for employers to hire new workers of advanced age. And that’s assuming that you remain capable of doing your job without health problems making that impossible.

    As a practical matter, it’s extremely hard for people in their 50s to get hired these days. Maybe that will change 30 years down the road, but I sure wouldn’t bank my retirement on it.

  20. socialistic ben says:

    i know. it is terrible. the group includes my parents and saying those things makes me very sad…. but facts is facts, jackson. The reason Social Security will become… strained.. (can we agree to call it strained?) is the size of the generation collecting it. that issue cant last forever. (or even for more than 30 or so years)

  21. Geezer says:

    “The reason Social Security will become… strained.. (can we agree to call it strained?) is the size of the generation collecting it.”

    Wrong again. That’s the reason the payroll tax was jacked up so high by Reagan.

    The only way it disappears is people like you shrugging your shoulders and saying, “Oh well, we probably didn’t deserve it anyway.”

    I better not hear you complaining about Obama giving away the store before the negotiations begin. You’re doing the same thing.

  22. Dana Garrett says:

    I say slash the military budget by 40-50 percent and use the savings to save Medicare.

    Al Mascitti on WDEL made an interesting observation about Carney the other day. He had a conversation w/ Carney and asked him why he wasn’t more liberal about economic matters since he represents a blue state. Carney said that he has always tended to be moderate–conservative about economic matters and liberal about social policy. If that’s the case, Carney is being consistent––wrong but consistent.

  23. puck says:

    What I also failed to point out is that even now people are choosing early retirement at 62 with 75% annual benefits. This of course is yet another way of spreading income inequality, as wealthier people in professional jobs tend to live and work longer and in better health. So they can afford to wait until they are 65 and claim full benefits. But if you are in that post-50 unemployment valley, you will probably have to claim benefits at 62.

    FYI, Mitt Romney turned 65 last March and opted out of Social Security and Medicare. Because he was running for office, for Pete’s sake.

  24. socialistic ben says:

    MW and Geezer, the arguments you give still don’t explain the huge difference of 2 years.
    like i said.. If i am fortunate enough to stay in my current career and still have a pension available AND if my ideal health care system comes true.. i wont need social security. If i get downsized at 45 and they steal my pension…. in my suggested construct, i (or people like me) would have a backstop.
    The reason I am suggesting this “compromise” is because i really don’t see it as anything other than a token concession that won’t have any real lasting or serious effect. Most people will see it as a major compromise on the part of the Dems, and the republicans will HAVE to make the same level of sacrifice (which will only be good for the economy) or look bad.
    Worst case, they dont take the deal and more trouble occurs… then in 2014, the Dems can run on how hard they tried and how awful the GOP was… when the mid-terms give the house back to the dems, and hopefully the filibuster is changed…. they wont have to give up anything.

  25. puck says:

    “Carney said that he has always tended to be moderate”

    That does not answer the question.

    “conservative about economic matters and liberal about social policy.”

    Perhaps his union supporters need to have a talk with him.

  26. socialistic ben says:

    im not giving away the store geezer. im sacrificing a pawn so i can take a bishop. Are you really prepared ot go to the mat over something that wont effect anyone for almost 40 years…. and for something that can be reversed anyway? you dont get to tell me what should be important to me. I do support some version of austerity…. but it has more to do with cutting back on things like blakc friday and iphone and bonuses, in favor of making things like health care and education more widely available.

  27. Dave says:

    By law Social Security cannot pay out any more than it takes in. So technically it can never go banrkrupt. Nor can it go into debt because it is not technically a future unfunded liability.

    Social Security can be fixed very easily with a small contribution increase and a small benefit decrease, if need be. As reminder, SS was never intended to the retirement plan for folks. It is supposed to provide only a basic level of benefit. People need more than SS if they expect to retire. One thing they could change is the income requirement that only permits someone to earn maximum of $14,700 in a year before they lose the SS benefit because they made too much money.

  28. Geezer says:

    “Are you really prepared ot go to the mat over something that wont effect anyone for almost 40 years…. and for something that can be reversed anyway?”

    Yes, but you aren’t, apparently. I have three adult children, so I’m doing it for them, not you.

    “you dont get to tell me what should be important to me.”

    I’m not trying to. I merely pointed out that ceding the argument to your foes makes you a surrender monkey.

    “the arguments you give still don’t explain the huge difference of 2 years.”

    If you’re talking about Social Security, YOUR retirement age ALREADY is 67. The Grand Bargaineers are talking about raising it to 70.

    I realize that at your age you have no notion of what a 60-year-old feels like getting out of bed in the morning. I’ll chalk up your attitude to the folly of youth.

  29. socialistic ben says:

    “you’re young so you dont get it” is the lamest argument a person can make. you’re a smart guy with a knowledge of history, so i won’t rattle off the millions of times people have said that and been wrong.
    here’s the thing. I keep offering other ideas… compulsitory pension, cost-offsetting because of universal health care, higher overall wages… to make up for my suggestion. You just argue against half my point. That is dishonest debating, and a tactic of the enemy. Stop doing it. Consider my entire proposal, not just the parts you can use to call me young and dumb.

  30. kavips says:

    I heard Chris Coons on WDEL this afternoon, and I think what is happening among the Dems who’ve served through the past two years, is that they are fighting last term’s war.

    I hear the word “compromise”, and if you served during the reign of the Tea Party, the fact that you could find any common ground at all with any Republican, was a feather in your cap. Back then, the status quo, was nothing significant would ever get done. Therefore, if you were able to compromise enough to get a tiny bit done for your side, you actually created progress and forward movement.

    Post election, we no longer need to compromise. They, need to compromise. And that I think is hard for all democrats to get into their mind…

    We are the ruling party… We make policy, and only because we are nice…. we will allow you to make suggestions on how we can make it better….

  31. Truth Teller says:

    Time for President Obama to go play golf and let Boner stew he got his offer from the treasury department now it’s his turn to act.