Heads-Up: PBO to speak at 1:30



105 thoughts on “Heads-Up: PBO to speak at 1:30

  1. I’m getting whiplash from all of these different plans. This is just unbelievable with 14 days to go. I thought the Gang of Six was kaput. Now it seems they are all a flutter again. I fell sick.

    Reconstituted Gang of Six causes a stir

    Remember the Gang of Six? Well, apparently they’re back, and they’re generating quite a bit of attention this morning with their nearly-finalized debt-reduction plan.

    Democratic and Republican senators are rallying behind a $3.7 trillion deficit reduction plan unveiled Tuesday morning by the five remaining members of the Gang of Six.

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who pulled out of the Gang of Six in May, has rejoined the group and praised the plan as something that could win the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.

    I have not yet seen any of the details, but the plan would reportedly produce $3.7 trillion in savings over the next decade, including $1 trillion in new revenue by scrapping a series of tax breaks and tax expenditures.

    Read more here:


    Note: When I saw the time change for the Jay Carney press briefing, I had a feeling we were going to hear from President Obama today. I hope it is good news.

  2. we will be okay. President Obama has not even campaigned fully yet and he already has competitive numbers for all candidates.

    Do not worry.

    Mitt romney will eventually plumett even if he is the eventual nominee.

  3. Gang of Six – Coburn, Crapo, Chambliss, Warner, Durbin and Conrad

    Only Senator I somewhat trust in these negotiations would be Durbin. A lot of wing nuts and corporatist Dems.

    I’m definitely smelling raising SS age here with that group.

  4. Thank you for the calm perspective, pfo.

    From afo.

    To the bwd’ers, fuck the polls now. It’s stupid to react to these meaningless polls at this stage.

  5. II am willing to look at the gang of 6 proposal. Actually am all for cutting loopholes and lowering marginal rates. The Wyden-Gregg approach in the chairman’s mark-up did just that and I thought it was good base proposal. Complexity in tax code breeds regressivity so simplying it will make it more progressive.

    I also think our high nominal corporate tax rate hurts exactly who we want to help – small businesses. Unlike large corporations they don’t have the money to pay an army of accountant to exploit every loophole. If we lowered the nominal rate but closed many a loophole that would increase the effective rate which right now is around a ridiculously low 8-10%.

  6. “In the meantime, all kinds of senators seem awfully excited about this. The Gang held a briefing this morning, presenting the plan to about 50 senators, and won some positive reviews. Just relying on media accounts, Texas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), Nebraska’s Mike Johanns (R), Colorado’s Michel Bennet (D), Ohio’s Rob Portman (R), and Delaware’s Chris Coons (D) all came away impressed, and said so on the record.”
    No Franken, Whitehouse, Sanders, Sherrod Brown – I’m concerned. Portman is Bush’s CBO.


    “It’s really Groundhog Day around here today.”

    😆 😆 😆

    I know he wants to slap the stupid out of some of these people.

  8. US President Barack Obama has cited “some progress” in debt talks, with the US at the “11th hour” before a deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

    At the White House, Mr Obama hailed a plan by group of senators to cut the budget deficit and raise the limit.

    And he urged congressional leaders to put aside “symbolic gestures” and begin writing legislation.

    The US risks debt default on its debt if Congress does not raise the debt limit before 2 August.

    At the White House, Mr Obama said a proposal had been put forward on Tuesday by a bipartisan “gang of six” senators.

    The group has been meeting on and off in recent months in an effort to craft a plan to reduce the US government’s $1.5tn (£927.81bn) annual budget deficit.

    Mr Obama said the proposal was “consistent” with a plan the White House had been urging.

    It was reported to include a mix of new revenues and cuts to military and social spending that in total would cut the budget deficit by about $3.7tn over the next ten years.

    Mr Obama said in particular that the plan would broadly share the “sacrifice” across the political spectrum, with both Democrats and Republicans ceding on some of their policy priorities.

    There have been sticking points on both sides of the political divide in recent months.

    Republicans have been unwilling to consider raising new tax revenues to counter the growing budget deficits, while the Democrats have been resistant to cutting popular healthcare and welfare programmes for pensioners and the poor.


  9. Oh, and now he is reminding the reporters that it wasn’t the White House that LINKED the raising of the debt limit with a deficit reduction plan. There is selective hearing in that room. Poor Jay has to repeat himself constantly. I don’t know how he stands these people.

  10. Bear with me, this may seem disjointed. President Obama has been the most progressive President ever when it comes to LGBT issues, but it seems as though to the LGBT community, President Obama is not doing enough. Where the fuck was the LGBT community when Bill Clinton was in office? Clinton didn’t do a goddamn thing when it came to the LGBT community, but they still supported him. President Obama has spent so much political capital to push LGBT issues to the forefront and still that’s not good enough. Come 2012 the LGBT community does not have to vote for President Obama, they can vote for whomever they please. And I’m sure whomever the LGBT community decides to vote for will champion their issues.

    I so loath the playing of the race card no matter what direction it comes from. But I can assure those Democrats, PL’s, and Progressives that have not only not supported President Obama, but have gone out of their way to work against him, it will not be forgotten. Come 2016 you had better hope that the African American community feels benevolent enough to come out and vote for whomever the Democratic nominee is, seeing as how well President Obama was treated within his own party.

  11. Father God, have mercy on us all. Lord we need you now, and so Lord God, I’m crying out to you to do a mighty work In Congress. We’re hoping, leaning and depending on you Lord to help rectify our greed and mistakes In our economy. Hear us now Lord Jesus. Give us peace as we wait on your blessings. Help us Lord God to tune out all the negatives that surrounds us, but Lord, I pray that we stay tuned and focused on you. Help us Lord to remember that things are not always as they appear. We know that you have all the power, and the last word. Thank you Father, In your Holy name, Amen.

  12. The devil’s in the details, but if the plan raises the ceiling past the election, with cuts to defense spending and revenue increases, it’s nothing but a win for Obama and the Dems.

  13. Tally (Bard girl??) I actually laughed out loud, FOR REAL!!, when he said that. He’s got patience and a sense of humor. And very smart! I’m liking this guy.

  14. No it won’t. It doesn’t erase their vote on Ryan Care and it won’t erase their upcoming symbolic vote on the Duck Dodge and Dismatle bill. Dems can and will campaign on those votes.

  15. I don’t think it’ll give the House GOP cover. It just wanted to cut everything, give more tax breaks to the rich, and leave the poor and middle classes to fend for themselves. Very different from what this Gang of Six plan seems to be. Entitlement “changes” can mean anything, and have to be enacted if the programs are to be able to continue providing benefits into the future.

  16. The vast, vast LGBT community supports the President. It’s the Aravosis’, Choi’s who like to claim they speak for the community who have made the decision that if they’re not whining about something than the President will not move.

    These guys are Republicans who want to take LGBT issues off the table in hopes of than being able to bring more of their LGBT community over to the Republican side. Right now they find it impossible because the GOP is so anti-LGBT.

  17. Absolutely agree. If chained CPI is included I don’t think that is a win. Really the CPI used to calculate the COLA for seniors needs to be changed altogether to increase simply because the basket of goods they buy is different than the basket than the current CPI is based on. Senior’s basket includes a higher percentage of their income going to healthcare which outpacing the rate of inflation. All of that to say that any change in CPI that decreases their COLA (when they get one) is not a win in any way in my opinion.

  18. I am by no means interested in the opinions of Hampsher and Co.; but I think we have to be honest with ourselves. There will be unpleasant elements to this plan. Kos types say do nothing with entitlements; we don’t have a debt/entitlement problem, just make the rich pay more. OK. Point taken.

    BUT, sadly, we do have a problem (created by years of deliberate Republican economic mismanagement). The baby boomers are retiring in ever greater numbers, the economy is weak, tax receipts are low, loopholes are rampant, and rates on the well off are too low.

    PBO didn’t create the Simpson-Bowles commission because he had nothing better to do; he is serious about strengthening entitlements even if it means making hard choices. Reagan and Clinton had to do it, and PBO, because he is a realist and is concerned for the current and future generations, knows he has do some form of Grand Bargain

    The idea that PBO, for ethical and political reasons, wants seniors to eat catfood, as the Adam Green/Slinkerwink types assert, is ridiculous. But means test Medicare? Count me in. Raise the payroll cap on SS. Another good idea.

    My point is, let’s wait and see what PBO and Pelosi (a vital voice) can agree on for our side, remembering all the while just how determined Republicans in the House to thwart anything PBO does.

  19. I am more than willing to wait and see what comes out, but Shameless, Crapo, Warner, Conrad and Coburn certainly seems to me that it will lean to the right. This isn’t Sanders, Franken, Sh. Brown joining a gang of six with Snowe, Murkowski and Sc. Brown afterall.

    I hope the Bush Tax Cuts are off the table or canceled and not some how extended in lieu of ending other tax breaks.

  20. Beautiful prayer, Luci. Thank you. Part of my daily prayer if that God take away the hate and intolerance and lead us to love one another.

  21. Gal! Got it! Just so you know, Jay is married! (I checked…. tee hee!!) I love him anyway.

  22. Absolutely agree we need to do entitlement reforms so anyone who says we don’t need to are not being reality based. I just think there are smart reforms and bad reforms. Smart reforms including raising the cap taxable income for SS. Increasing the premiums the wealthy pay to Medicare. Including drug negotiations in Medicare Part D. Tort reform because yes doctors practice defensive medicine thus raising costs. Changing how we pay for care.

    To me bad reforms are switching to a chained CPI which is in the new gang of 6 proposal (page 3 of the proposal – http://assets.nationaljournal.com/pdf/071911ConradBudgetExecutiveSummary.pdf), increasing cost sharing for all Medicare recipients, raising the medicare age.

  23. Bush and GOP purposefully created this situation by spending for things without paying for them knowing they’d create this crisis and then use it shock doctrine style to force entitlement cuts.

    Quite frankly taxes that the rich didn’t pay the last 10 years should be paid back (so raise their rate 8% next decade than drop it down to 38-39%), everybody should get taxed one percent more to start paying for the two wars that were not paid for before we start even thinking about taking hedge clippers to entitlements.

  24. Good points. I would imagine that the CPI can adjust with future inflation. I think PBO and Nancy/Durbin will fight for the least harmful solutions. Remember, the Dems have to sign on as well.

  25. I’m just throwing out a guess here that SS age will be raised. Long overdue imho. Nearly every article I read is about people living longer, looking younger, not wanting to retire. Seriously, people are living much longer and to be on SS for 30 years? That’s a bit crazy.

    THere has to be entitlement reform – it’s only practical. We cannot expect younger generations to pay for older gernerations retirement for 3 decades.

  26. I know what you mean, and agree with your position, but we are now in divided government with a blue dog senate and a teabag house…raising taxes AT ALL is something they don’t want to do. 230 in the House signed the ridiculous Norquist pledge “NO NEW TAXES”. How does PBO work with this? Very difficult.

  27. I agree, SR. And to be honest (as a citizen of Illinois) Durbin cannot be considered a reliable progressive (but you didn’t actually say that). He can easily sign on to a deal, any deal. And the next day fight hard for progressive ideals and then turn away from them the next.

    There should have been at least one real progressive in this ‘gang’. This is the stuff that gets us in trouble. Although wasn’t it Conrad who originally said 50/50 in his plan? I wondered if I had the wrong Conrad because he’s centrist on a good day.

  28. I am fine with the SS age being raised gradually if it includes something that was included in the chairman’s mark-up, Here is there proposal

    “Index retirement age to increases in longevity
    – This option is projected to increase the age by one month every two years after it reaches 67 under current law, meaning the normal retirement age would reach 68 in about 2050 and 69 in about 2075
    – Hardship exemption for those unable to work beyond 62”

    The hardship exemption is especially key

  29. So it’s weighted toward Republicans. Can I scream NOW?

    Then I want Bernie Sanders.

  30. The only problem with older people wanting and able to work longer is not a problem. The problem is with companies that lay off the older people in their late fortys and early 50’s or even in sixty’s. Who is going to hire these people? The older you get the more medical problems you have in your 50’s and 60’s. What does a person do while they wait ten to seventeen years to get SS and medicare. I know so many people who retired at 55yrs or early 60’s and can’t get insurance.

  31. Warner and Chambliss lead, with Durbin and Conrad on the Dems side and Coburn and Crapo on the GOP side. The 7th is Lamar Alexander.

  32. Ladies and gentlemen, following is the 1st report on the Deficit Cutting plan agreed upon among “The Gang of Six” and endorsed by PBO with more details to come.

    And FYI, the “”Cap Cut, and Balance” Bill offered by Republicans that has a 0 chance of ever becoming law passed… with every Repub voting “yea” and all but 2 Democrats voting “nea”. I want to know who the 2 Dems that voted “yea” for this dead on arrival bill were.

    Now, here’s the latest results on the Deficit Cutting plan from CNBC…

    Senate Group Unveils Deal On Major Deficit Plan
    Published: Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011 | 1:44 PM ET
    By: AP

    Leaders of a bipartisan “Gang of Six” senators said Tuesday that they’ve reached agreement on a major plan to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the coming decade in what could be a bold entry into a debate on the deficit long bogged-down by bitter partisanship.

    The deal, which was quickly endorsed by President Obama, caused stocks to add to their gains.

    More than $1 trillion of the deficit cuts would come from tax increases reaped as Congress overhauls the loophole-choked U.S. tax code. It would also repeal a long-term health care program established under the last year’s health overhaul and force up to $500 billion in cuts from federal health care programs over the upcoming decade, according to documents provided to senators at a Tuesday morning meeting but not publicly released.

    “The reaction was extremely positive,” said Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

    The Gang of Six plan is separate from a politically freighted effort to lift the nation’s borrowing cap and avoid a first-ever default on U.S. obligations. President Barack Obama and Capitol Hill Republicans, however, have failed to reach an accord on what kind of spending cuts to pair with any increase in the borrowing cap as the government teeters toward a possible default in two weeks.

    The group’s effort was sealed after Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn rejoined the group after winning concessions on additional cuts to costly federal health care programs. Coburn left the group in May, which dealt it a big setback and delayed an agreement since the two other GOP members of the group—Mike Crapo of Idaho and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia—appeared reluctant to release the plan without Coburn’s backing as well.

    The group has been laboring for months in an up-and-down effort to reach an agreement that largely mirrors the work of President Barack Obama’s fiscal panel, which proposed $4 trillion in cuts over a decade.

    The fiscal commission plan won positive reviews from many lawmakers but its plan failed to win a vote in Congress.

    The Gang of Six plan calls for an immediate $500 billion “down payment” on cutting the deficit as the starting point toward cuts of more than $4 trillion over the coming decade that would be finalized in a second piece of legislation.

    Most of that savings would come from four years of caps imposed on the day-to-day budgets of cabinet agencies set by the annual appropriations bills. It would also curb the growth of Social Security benefits by moving to a lower inflation adjustment for annual cost-of-living updates.

    The tax reform outline would set up three income tax rates: a bottom rate of 8-12 percent; a middle rate of 14-22 percent and top rate of 23-29 percent to replace the current system that has a bottom rate of 10 percent, with five additional rates topping out at 35 percent. It would reduce but not eliminate tax breaks on mortgage interest, higher-cost health plans, charitable deductions, retirement savings and tax credits for families with children.

    The idea is that a bipartisan plan would gain critical mass in the Senate, powered by the endorsement of conservatives like Coburn and liberals like Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate and a member of the group.

    Both Republican and Democratic leaders, however, remain wary of the effort, since it would raise revenues by about $1 trillion over 10 years and cut popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid. But many rank and file senators were enthusiastic.

    “This a concrete way to reduce the deficit and assure that we are on a long term plan that will bring down the debt to a reasonable level,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

    Like the deficit commission, the Senate group’s plan calls for a fundamental overhaul of the tax code that would slash special tax preferences and deductions as a way to lower tax rates—along the lines of the 1986 tax reform measure signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. In addition to skimming some of the revenue to reduce the deficit, advocates of the plan say it would spur the economy and fill federal coffers further because of such growth.

    The measure also calls for tight “caps” on the daily operating budgets of federal agencies, as well as a major overhaul of programs like Medicare, Social Security, and farm subsidies. The details of the changes would be left to congressional committees to draw up.

    For instance, the Armed Services Committee would be assigned $80 billion in savings from military retirement and health care accounts, but the Agriculture Committee would only have to find $11 billion over 10 years.

  33. Exactly this. Not to mention manual laborers working until their 70 is much different than asking white collar workers to do so.

    And then there is the problem of getting the young folks into the workforce when old timers are forced to work 2-3 extra years.

  34. P.S…. will the Teapublicans go for the $1 trillion raise in tax revenues as part of the “DC” deal and vote to raise the Debt Ceiling? I doubt it… but if they don’t, I believe they’ll lose the House in 2012…and they should.

  35. Here is my thinking. Agree to delayed cuts in some of the entitlements (not to phase in for a few years) campaign heavily on how this is what the Republicans demanded in order to prevent worldwide economic collapse and if people want to make sure those cuts don’t take place, elect Dems in 2012.

    There is absoluetly nothing that, if part of an agreement now, can’t be changed down the road.

  36. I hope the GOP house kills it. I don’t see any GOP pain in there. I knew you couldn’t trust Warner and Conrad. Both corporatists who would have been Republicans 20 years ago.

  37. It is not the final deal. PBO said clearly that he just got the draft and they only start looking at it. I think that at the very least we should give him the benefit of the doubt and see what HE IS willing to sign on. The fact is that we do have a very serious deficit problem, and if he can get a reasonable deal that won’t even go into effect for years – it will be good for the economy, and let’s face it, no less important – it will be very good politically. It will remove a huge Republican talking point going to 2012.

  38. I like some things in the plan from what we know but the negatives outweigh the positives to me. Repealing the CLASS act part of healthcare reform is not good as it starts the road to dismantling HC reform. Chained CPI also not good. I also think the highest tax bracket is too low even if many a loophole is closed. That top bracket should br 35% with closed loopholes.

  39. No question about that.

    I can’t play poker. I don’t want to play poker. So all of this poker-playing makes me really uncomfortable.

    But if Obama is going to include substantive ‘reform’ to entitlements then he’d better get some serious concessions from Republicans.

  40. Agree to delayed cuts in entitlements would kill the Democratic brand if it is a cut in benefits. Once that bell in rung it can’t be unrung.

  41. As of 2014 because of ACA they can’t be denied insurance. HCR is only going to get BETTER, as it morphs into Single Payer – which WILL HAPPEN.

    2014 – non-profits come online which will offer BETTER plans for LESS, (no $12million +bonus annual CEOs to feed), which will drive the Cartels to adapt or die. The NPs will merge across state lines to offer larger risk pools which will mean even cheaper, better plans…. eventually morphing into single payer.

    VISION PEOPLE. Get some! 😀

  42. Unfortunately it doesn’t help that their particular slanted point of view is on MSNBC five nights/week so it can change perception.

    Got a lot of gay friends who are fine with Obama. I have two lesbian friends who subscribe to the Arovois hate-fest but that has more to do with them still pining for Hillary.

    What, exactly, Hillary would have done differently is beyond me. We’d have a whole lot less than we have now.

  43. Like it says – it was written by Reagan. So Romneycare becomes a Dem plan, and now we have a Reagan tax code passed under a Dem President? Big cuts to the ACA passed a year ago? Cuts to SS and Medicare? And all because the tax code is clarified so that rich folks have to actually pay their fair share – knowing full well they’ll find new ways to hide their money?


    This Norquist pledge worked wonders, because they get marginal tax raises and act like it’s a huge concession and the Dems give up the whole lot.

    Pelosi should walk away, because I don’t think Boehner could pass this himself.

  44. The play would be toward the lower tax rates for the middle class, but those would be countered by the change in deductions, specially for mortgage interest, unless they said only mortgage interest below, say, $30,000 per year can be deducted.

  45. There are some easy fixes to Medicare and SS that have to be on the table: increasing the cap, increasing Medicare payments over a certain income. And yes, I’m fine with means testing for the wealthy, as long as it’s limited to that and never used to water down the program for people who need it.

    This war against means testing by the Professional Whiners has shown how deranged they’ve become: this used to be a Democratic idea. It is a de facto increase of taxes on the wealthy. It helps to preserve the program. I understand the argument against it but that’s only if the very worst comes to pass (it won’t) and I see no progressive argument for not making the wealthy pay more. After all, isn’t that what we’re trying to do anyway?

  46. Democrats really need to stop with the mantra of “no entitlement reform”. That’s as stuck in the Dark Ages as the Tea Party “no tax increases”. Of course they need reform – they key is controlling how the reform is done. And electing Democrats will ensure it is done sensibly and ethically.

  47. There is a great video on the House Dems youtube channell that has House leadership talking about the deficit deal (s) and their SUPPORT for the President. Don’t have the link handy. it was great.

  48. Means testing is a loaded term that connotates Welfare. That language should never be used by any Democrat in regards to Medicare or Social Security. Phrases like increasing Medicare cost sharing for wealthy seniors is the way to say it.

    Social security should never have a straight means test. Rather then can just change the progressivity of the pay-out formula i.e. at let’s say at a monthly income o $4k+ you only get a benefit os 5% what you paid in

  49. Japa,
    You see- I get Ssdi and veterans checks every month. The way it is being talked about, we will all be very happy to just know what the plan is so we can deal with it! As long as I have 90% of what I had,I can deal with it, a lot if people in my position are saying this.
    If we default, people in my position are screwed.

  50. Agreed but there is a difference between reform and cuts. We need to reform entitlements. We can do that without cuts to the beneficiaries. The one place I would support cuts is increasing Medicare cost sharing for wealthy seniors

  51. The COLA adjustment as discussed will decrease benefits. It will decrease the increase of benefits (!) but that is still less money in a senior’s pocket.

    How seniors spend their money is very different than an average young family: they can eliminate a video game or a vacation to make ends meet. Seniors who depend on social security use their money for food, shelter and health care. — things that go up. A lot. Where are they supposed to cut if they’re not getting a true Cost of living adjustment? It’s a reasonable issue. It helps the program precisely because it’s cutting into benefits. If we end up with it (and I think we will) I can explain it to people but it’s really a win for Republicans giving pain to seniors. And it will be done with Democratic votes and the acceptance of the President. This is not good for us politically, or in terms of policy.

    If we end up with the adjusted COLA and the cap does NOT go up then that’s is boneheaded. Don’t care how much I love Obama and Pelosi, I’ll be pissed.

    Or a raise on the top income brackets to Clinton levels then giving in on COLA, which will affect seniors RIGHT NOW, it’s a dangerous move. I think it can cost us dearly.

    Can you honestly see Republicans voting for a bill that raises the cap? Raises income tax rates? Seriously?

    I’m back to being all scared again.

  52. Thanks for the correction. I had not heard alternative phrases like the ones you mentioned. Thank you. No more ‘means testing’ out of this progressive’s mouth!

  53. One more thing: I wasn’t talking about ‘social security cost sharing’ — I was talking about Medicare.

    There’s a distinction between paying in to a program that gives you a check when you reach eligibility. If you’re paying for goods and services, like Medicare does, I think you have a more reasonable leg to stand on, concerning the wealthy paying in more.

  54. Really even the current COLA formula they use to adjust senior benefits it not adequate because it is not heavily weighted enough towards healthcare. That is why there has been no COLA increase for the past two years even as HC costs have risen. Noe the stimulus made up for that lack of a COLA in 2009 with a one time check. No such fix was given this last year.

    Any change that actually lowers the COLA is the opposite of what should be done and the Democrats would be wrong to sign onto it. Besides not focusing on jobs I think the mistake the administration has made in these negotiations is offering that as a concession. Well that and raising the Medicare age.

  55. I understand that things will change if HCR is not watered down or repealed and hopefully more states will adopt a single payer plan. However, if we do not get the house to flip democratic and a more than 60 Dem membership in the Senate, we are screwed.

  56. Absolutely agree. The place to increase the cost sharing load is Medicare. The way to reform SS is to increase the income cap and to adjust the progressivity of the pay-out formula.

    Also no problem on the means testing language. I just wish all Democrats would never use that term in regards to Medicare or SS.

  57. It’s already been raised. It’s now 67. That happened this year I think. Corrections welcome.

    The difference is, you can retire earlier. The Social Security age is for full retirement benefits. It is often to the benefit of a senior to take benefits earlier but at a reduced amount. My husband did that. He was only 6 months earlier than full retirement age, but getting those extra months turned into a win-win until he’s well into his ’80’s.

    I don’t think there was an increase in the retirement age for early retirement. It’s 62, I believe.

    So the increase in age that has been kicked around is for Medicare. And that’s the problem, unless it’s implemented way down the road so that seniors can take advantage of the health care exchanges.

    I’m the perfect example. I’m not making this personal because I’ll sacrifice a lot for progress in this country. But my situation is similar to many others. I’m 61. We’re self-employed, let my insurance lapse the last few years before my husband was eligible for Medicare because the premiums skyrocketed out of anything we could afford. I did not know that I would not be able to get it back.

    I have asthma (completely controlled) and a little high blood pressure. I am virtually uninsurable or at a cost that I cannot afford. I do need to get a new rejection letter and apply to the high risk pool but that’s another issue.

    So as you get close to medicare age, you may not have insurance. You may be laid off from your job and virtually uninsurable. Now you’re saying you might have to wait longer to get on Medicare. It’s a devastating political message. Now Sam Stein, with no sourcing, said that it would probably start on an ascending scale in ‘2013’. That would mean someone my age would have to wait for Medicare, without the insurance exchanges in place or any other assurances for health care.

    Will Republicans sign on to pushing the very first increment about 10 years down the line so people can adjust their lives? Don’t know. Don’t think so.

    Now, ACA will help so that pre-seniors have health care but not until the program is fully implemented. And that, at the very least, needs to be addressed in the deal. You bastards don’t get to push for repeal of ACA while expecting seniors to wait to get on Medicare. If anything in this economic climate, Medicare is more important than ever.

  58. I think raising the Medicare age is now off the table. Frankly that is one I feel strongly Obama should have said no way to from the start.

  59. Holy shit. this is worse than I thought. Much worse.

    Can I worry now? Can I go crazy now?

    There’s no way the House kills it. They may have rope-a-doped us. god help us all.

  60. Yup. Because they get everything else they want.

    There is extreme pain to the middle class and seniors here. Reduction of the mortgage rate — that hits at the heart of the middle class. And I’m sorry, don’t tell me because the tax rates are lower it will be ‘good’ for the middle class. When you have a top rate of 29%!!!!!!! we fix NOTHING.

    I can’t say what I’m thinking now. I have no words. My first words are going to my Senator, Dick Durbin.


  61. I even doubt how they’re calculating an ‘increase’ in revenues, by slashing the tax rates. I think there will be no increased revenue and this is going to be a disaster.

    And what is this:

    “It would also repeal a long-term health care program established under the last year’s health overhaul and force up to $500 billion in cuts from federal health care programs over the upcoming decade, according to documents provided to senators at a Tuesday morning meeting but not publicly released.”

    Was this the program that allowed seniors easier access to Medicaid until they received Medicare?

  62. The house will kill it because it involves raising the effective rate even if it lowers the nominal rate. Either way though the back-up plan is not all that great either. Why should there be $1.5T in mostly bad cuts with no tax increases?

    If on the off chance the “gang of 6/7” plan does go through and Obama signs it that would be an exceedingly dumb political move in my esitmation. I don’t think it will get to that point but I also think the administration needs to grab a hold of the narrative because they don’t want their stamp on it saying they support all of it

  63. One thing I will disagree with you on is that reduction of the mortgage deduction will hit the middle class. Every proposal I have ever seen for that has a starting point of no deduction of interest for mortgage debt at above around $500,000. I actually agree with that proposal. Really the mortgage interest rate deduction should be phased out slowly (over let’s say 15 years) anyway. It is the most regressive loophole out there and it artificially inflates home prices. Still people depend on it so while it needs to ge gone it should be phased out slowly.

  64. Not when in the same package Republicans get entitlement reform and we get a top tax rate of 29%.

    No rise in the cap on Social Security, but less money in the COLA. How does that compute as anything we can sell?

    The best you can say is our current Democrats suck so let’s elect more. There is no ‘progress’ here that I can see, in order for voters to have any faith in Democrats.

    I’ll have to hear some serious explaining from the WH’s acceptance of this. But how many people will not get past the second paragraph, as they taught me in journalism class?

    Here are the cuts. The rich have had their taxes lowered. They may be able to trade some loopholes for lower taxes. Excuse me for screaming, but —–


  65. While I think this is a bad proposal I think it is way too early to freak out. Assuming this will be the final deal is a mistake. That said I would make those calls and write those letters. I am doing that today as well.

  66. Exactly. This is not ‘reform’ that is helpful. This is truly a step in the direction of hurting seniors.

  67. So simple. You and I are on the same page completely. I will do my part to change the use of the loaded phrase.

  68. Exactly! I used to make this argument at a well-known “true progressive” blog a couple of years ago, and eventually gave up on the place entirely when it was clear the majority of people there are racist, or just really not very bright and couldn’t comprehend a “long-game” strategy.

    I’ve been a single-payer organizer since the early 1990s. It’s been one of my main issues. Even after the compromises made in order to pass, the President Obama-led healthcare reforms are the biggest step in getting to single-payer that we’ve had in my lifetime. This should be a great momentum builder.

    But notice how “public option” and “single-payer” are basically nowhere to be found at these “true progressive” blogs anymore. They discard the poutrage-du-jour as soon as they’ve used them up as bludgeons to Stanley Ann’s son. I kept trying to positively rally support around there to keep the pressure on and get single-payer advancement to the next steps. Outside of a very small handful of them, it was crickets aside from the incessant “Obama sux” themes. The constant focus on the negative, along with the constant ignoring of anything positive about Barack Hussein Obama clouded people’s judgment. It almost seems it was by design….hmmmmm?

    Let’s not let “true progressive” poutraging infiltrate the minds of people at rational places like here. As you point out, there’s a lot to be happy about coming up, and a lot we can build upon to take things to the next levels. Onward and upward!

  69. I don’t get it. Didn’t anyone listen to the president today? He was very clear about not agreeing with everything, about difficult negotiations, about not even knowing all the details. He said that there will be overlaps, but we have no idea which ones. He endorsed their effort and framework. He did not endorse the plan.

    Honestly, if we’re going to start ignore what he says, then we are no different than any other blog and I rather just shut this place down.

  70. To be fair the WH did not say they accepted this. That said they need to get control of the messaging now because that is what is being reported by the media. The plan as it is presented is not good and the WH being reports as agreeing with it in detail is not good for the Democratic message

  71. Faith asks <>

    I am only speculating, but I had this idea since a few days that you could get a rather massive redistribution of wealth, away from the top wealthy people, if you cut the tax rates especially for workers, middle class and small business, and plug the loopholes, which are mostly used by the very wealthy. That would even help if it is a zero sum game, because the additional money in poor and middle class peoples pockets would be spent, i.e. help the economy.

  72. Sorry, citation got skipped


    I am only speculating, but I had this idea since a few days that you could get a rather massive redistribution of wealth, away from the top wealthy people, if you cut the tax rates especially for workers, middle class and small business, and plug the loopholes, which are mostly used by the very wealthy. That would even help if it is a zero sum game, because the additional money in poor and middle class peoples pockets would be spent, i.e. help the economy.

  73. I’m with you Camussie, I’ll wait until things are finalized, and see the final deal Obama supports before being concerned.

  74. What’s with the idea that President Obama agrees with, and has signed onto this? That’s not what I heard today.

  75. I see a lot of griping about this plan BEFORE it’s even been implemented. Of course it’s not what most of us feel is an “ideal” plan, but what did you expect after Republicans gained control of the House? The House Majority RULES… period… and there’s isn’t much PBO can do about that when THIS House majority is adamantly and contemptuously opposed to anything he wants to do.

    I also see too much “indirect” and “anticipatory” blame projected towards PBO IF this plan goes through. I say to those people who have so much blame to go around, start blaming THE PEOPLE who voted those Rethuglicans back into power in the 2010 mid terms under the “pretense” of “bipartisanship”… and you can blame some of the “Regressives” who stayed away from the polls as a brattish form of “punishment” for PBO not conceding to each and every one of their whims as well. Because if they hadn’t been given “the keys to the car that they ran into the ditch” back, they wouldn’t be using it to run over the American people over and over again with a FULL tank of “gas”.

    Frankly, if ANYone thought that the GO(T)P would ACTUALLY pursue bipartisanship after all their whining and conniving, they’re socio-politically clueless… and anyone who thinks that EVERY piece of legislation that PBO really wants to do would be easy to do “just because” he’s the POTUS I have some igloos in the Amazon rain forest on E-Bay I’d like to sell them. Bipartisanship is the last thing on a Republican’s mind… and it’s been painfully obvious since day they won the House Majority by lying and using their typical fear-based grandstanding to divide, then conquer THE PEOPLE. It’s what THEY do… it’s WHO they are.

    I could get into the racist aspect, the austerity aspect, the fascist aspect, the oligarchical aspect, and so on and so forth. But it’s been “done” and it’s too obvious to even the “eyes wide shut” crowd. However, right now, this is a game of NUMBERS… and unfortunately, “right now”, the Republicans have them in Congress. They have defined the antonym of “progress” as “Congress” during their tenure… and only voting to oust them from their from their austerity-laced seats in 2012 in a DOMINANT fashion will REALLY change the way business is conducted on Cap Hill and give the President the legislative support he needs to do ALL he can for THE PEOPLE. But until that magical, mystical day happens, what you see is you’ll get… as “unperfect” and frustrating as it may be.

    When “the people” stop voting for candidates like they’re voting for the next “American Idol” or getting off on political debates like it’s Jerry Springer episodes in syndication, THEN we’ll see some REAL changes that will positively affect REAL people. Considering everything they’ve been against and how much damage they’ve done to this country AND the world, how ANYone can still vote “devotedly” Republican, is unfathomable AND illogical to me. And how anyone can NOT vote as a form of punishment for a candidate who IS their best chance, albeit not “perfect”, is ridiculously childish to me.

    So eiher America “grows the hell up” in 2012…. or continue to be treated as insignificant pawns in the Republican’s demented version of chess. Peace.

    Obama/Biden/SUPER Democratic Majority Congress 2012.

  76. Don’t shut it down BWD. Too many people simply suffer from “reactionous propaganditis”. Like in the movie “X”, when the Hon. Elijah Muhammed (played by Al Freeman Jr.) told Malcolm X (played by Denzel Washington), PARAPHRASING…

    “… gotta be careful not to fall prey to those cameras (sic, the media)… they’re as dangerous as any narcotic”.

    So just give the peeps some time to “rehab” to get the “junk” out of their systems ;>)

  77. BWD, Thank you for your sanity. It seems like folks are freaking out. I think we have to wait and see what is going to happen.

    I agree there are too many repugs, but this decision is up in the air.

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