Yeah. That’s a Great Idea

This is the worst fucking idea I have heard regarding this stupid god damned fiscal cliff, which, lest we forget, is a Republican created crisis:

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.

First, raising the Medicare age is terrible policy. It would be terrible policy even if the Affordable Care Act were going to be there in full force for 65 and 66 year olds, because it would cost the public $2 for every dollar in federal funds saved. And in case you haven’t noticed, Republican governors are still fighting the ACA tooth and nail; if they block the Medicaid expansion, as some will, lower-income seniors will just be pitched into the abyss.

This would be the nadir of bad politics meeting bad policy, and would give Republicans a reward for their hostage taking. Going off the cliff would be far more preferable. Not to mention, it wouldn’t help the budget, because it would just shrink the pool of “more healthy” in Medicare (in quotes, because everyone 65 or over has a pre-existing condition, as we’ve discussed before. That pre-existing condition is being 65. But statistically, 65 year olds are healthier than 67 year olds. Period.).

And I know that once again the Obama loyalists (just what the fuck do I and this website have to do to be considered loyal to Obama for this vanguard of the Obots) will flame me for not being reasonable or having insufficient fealty to our President, but it seems to me that if you want to preserve Medicare and have the rates increase to the Clinton era rates, you need to start screaming about this bullshit deal. Consider me to be screaming.

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216 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    And I know that once again the Obama loyalists (just what the fuck do I and this website have to do to be considered loyal to Obama for this vanguard of the Obots) will flame me for not being reasonable or having insufficient fealty to our President,

    No, we’ll flame you for freaking out over fourth-hand gossip.

    Shit, and I just finished telling myself how happy I was to hang out here instead of on one of those blogs goes crazy whenever one of these stories hits the MSM.

  2. 2
    Cacti says:

    Can we have another thread where you throw your panties at Chris Christie?

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    Not to mention that those who need the benefits at 65 are more likely blue collar workers who have toiled physically all their lives instead of sitting behind a desk and need to stop working by then.

  4. 4
    Felonius Monk says:

    Even Ezra pulls stuff out of his ass once in a while occasionally often.

  5. 5
    amk says:

    what the fuck did obama do today to upset you ?

    Isn’t that one of your mastheads, cole?

  6. 6
    Anthony says:

    Yeah, I was watching Maddow and that’s not what he said. You can probably chill for a while more.

  7. 7
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Obama’s got Boehner by the short hairs. There’s very few people in there but those two. And, after all that, Obama doesn’t get to write the bill.

  8. 8
    Face says:

    Wheres the link to what your talking about?

  9. 9
    Cacti says:

    @amk:

    what the fuck did obama do today to upset you ?

    With the election over, Cole’s ADHD has kicked back in.

  10. 10
    Hill Dweller says:

    Go read the Ezra Klein article that Krugman cites. It’s nothing more than reading tea leaves, parsing statements, and rank speculation.

  11. 11

    @cathyx: This, I keep saying this, a waitress who has been on her feet for 40 years is not the same as a lawyer who has sat behind his desk for 40 years.

  12. 12
    Comrade Mary says:

    John, do you have a link to the source? I can’t see any in this phone.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    @Cacti: LOL. cole is either going firebagger or teabagger. Early symptoms are set.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    Oh fer fucks sake. I am a teabagging OBOT who hates Obama!

    BRING ME THE HEAD OF JOE BIDEN.

  15. 15
    Anonypreacher says:

    Looks like Ezra needs to get out of the Beltway and get an honest job to refresh his mind about what most Americans have to deal with.

    That or a good pistol-whipping.

  16. 16
    John O says:

    Too early for the POTUS to cave like that. I don’t believe the story.

    Even moron Republican politicians can read polls. Obama was, in his first term, what I would classify as recklessly conciliatory, but I don’t see any point to that approach post re-election and so far I don’t think he does, either.

  17. 17
    Kris says:

    I’m the ultimate Obot, but if Obama accepts that deal, I’ll think a lot less of him. He can afford to be less compromising now that he isn’t up for reelection.

    IMO, the deal won’t extend the age of anything or effect any benefits for seniors. Self-descrined centrist pundits want the elderly to suffer, but no politician or political party wants to do that damage to themselves of hurting seniors. And there is no doubt that extending the age of Medicare will cause poltiical damage to anyone who actually implements it.

    The deal, I predict, will contain the end of the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, very small reductions in deductions, and some kind of long term cap on Medicare spending such that if the percentage of GDP spent on Medicare and Medicaid goes above X, then some such and such (maybe an increase in the age of qualification) will go into effect. But, of course, if a future Congress has to deal with the cost of Medicare reaching X, they’ll just ignore the law and pass whatever is needed to keep Medicare working as is or face the wrath of then current seniors. There will be long term cuts to small programs and some other caps that will have little meaning beyond symbolism because future Congresses will pass budgets as they see fit.

    Republicans will be able to claim victory on “capping” spending in the long term and reigning in Medicare. Democrats will be able to say that the caps are contingent on future Congressional support and are not really caps, but triggers to force future budget discussions if the deficit gets worse.

  18. 18
    👽 Martin says:

    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.

    Uh, that’s not what he said this evening on Maddow. He suggested some middle rate might happen based on comments by Boehner and Obama, but indicated that raising Medicare eligibility was unlikely to happen based on how all the parties are acting. Further, he laid out the math on why raising it was such a terrible idea – we’d still end up spending about half of the savings out of taxes – a decent chunk of which would fall on the states, and we’d end up paying more than the savings out of personal and employer plans. All told, we’d spend double in taxes and out-of-pocket than keeping Medicare where it is. In short, he says, we’d save significant money by raising payroll taxes.

    I think the reporting on this is bullshit – and with no link I’m not sure who wrote it. Ezra is doing two things:

    1) Reporting on what the parties are saying (or not saying) and forecasting what he things a resolution will look like
    2) What he thinks a resolution ought to look like, if the GOP would put it’s more radical and obstinate positions aside.

    Klein is 100% opposed to the Medicare age hike. That’s obvious. What retard is reporting otherwise?

  19. 19
    cathyx says:

    This is getting so tiresome on this blog. Any hint of a criticism of Obama is met with such an onslaught of ridicule and derision that it’s becoming so unpleasant to be here.

    There are people whom I love dearly in my life, but I can at least face the fact that they do things that I’m not always happy with. Many of you can not.

  20. 20
    TooManyJens says:

    The bitching is exquisite this evening.

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: ”

    Compared with the least sedentary, those who spent the most time sitting down had a 112% greater risk of diabetes.

    Similarly, the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes was increased by 147% in the most sedentary, and death linked to heart disease by 90%.”

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    @Baud:

    No, we’ll flame you for freaking out over fourth-hand gossip.

    I can’t improve on this retort. The reason it won’t turn out like this is for any affirmative marginal tax rate raising, Boehner would need dem votes in that body to pass it. And in the senate it is not much different. It would have to be complex with any number of elements that either the nutter true believers or ours, would not accept. Just left a comment on Krugman’s blog saying the same thing. He is an ivory tower pundit, that I would expect to get this stuff, that isn’t all that difficult to calculate. Some folk just need to clutch some pearl every so often to feel alive, I guess.

    There is click gold in the minds of outraged liberals. You can set your watch by it. Some of us might point out the fact that it is dubious, at best. And blog life goes on.

  23. 23
    Face says:

    Obambi is not gping to cave on the top rates. No way. Thats capitulation and Obummer knows better.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    Look, here’s how it’s going to work out. Boehner is going to give Obama everything Obama wants. In exchange, Obama is going to agree to remove the Obamacare tax on tanning beds. Win-win.

    Can I have Ezra Klein’s job now?

  25. 25
    Rex Everything says:

    I’m relieved that nobody’s defended this shitty policy yet. Yes, I hope Cole and Krugman are worked up over nothing; obviously they hope so too. But I half expected to find burnsebesq & co. going on in these comments about how great the rumored deal is. It will truly brighten my weekend if they continue to not do that.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    I followed Krugman’s link to Klein’s post, and I think I found the tell:

    Talk to smart folks in Washington …

    Um, yeah, this is Klein admitting that the “deal” is bullshit that he pulled out of his ass. He doesn’t even say “smart folks in Congress,” so really it’s him polling his fellow pundits and finding out what David Brooks and Tom Friedman think should happen.

    Also, too, if screaming is going to be done, it needs to be done at your representative and senators, not the president. They’re the ones who are going to be voting on the bill, not the president, so you need to make your views clear to them NOW and not waste time bitching about how Obama let you down again.

  27. 27
    Raven says:

    @cathyx: So take your whiny shit somewhere else and take that asshole McClaren with you. How’s that?

  28. 28
    cathyx says:

    @Raven: I rest my case.

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @cathyx: Good, go away.

  30. 30
    John O says:

    That’s a deal that would piss me off as much as him pressing aggressive prosecution of MJ in CO and WA.

    He has a chance to be great. We’ll see if he takes it.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @cathyx:

    This is getting so tiresome on this blog. Any hint of a criticism of Obama is met with such an onslaught of ridicule and derision that it’s becoming so unpleasant to be here.

    The ridicule and derision work both ways. But if we’re going to have a conversation, however civil or uncivil, about Obama’s actions, let’s have it over something real, not over gossamer speculations.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cathyx:

    Actually, what we’re criticizing is that John (and Paul Krugman) are freaking out about something that Ezra Klein says “smart people in Washington” hinted to him.

    But, again, if you’re not happy about this proposed deal, call or fax your representative and both of your senators. That will get you far more bang for your buck than bitching about the president will.

    ETA: Also, from what Martin is saying about Klein’s appearance on the Maddow show today, Klein is already walking back the “Medicare age change” and saying he now doesn’t think it’s going to happen. So I think there’s even less “there” there than there was when Krugman wrote his column.

  33. 33
    amk says:

    @cathyx:

    onslaught of ridicule and derision

    You’re questioning the very raison d’etre of this blog?

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: And here I was so looking forward to the next round of the Obot/firebagger wars. Oh well.

  35. 35
    srv says:

    John, can we get a couple of shots of drones or freedom bombs for Syria?

  36. 36
    cyntax says:

    @John O:

    Too early for the POTUS to cave like that

    Wellllllll… Don’t jinx it by saying that.

  37. 37
    cathyx says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ezra Klein isn’t the only person saying this.

    @Baud: That would be great, but the Obamabots don’t want to do that.

  38. 38

    These rumors have never been true before, and I’m certainly not going to lose sleep over them now.

  39. 39
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Mnemosyne: Contact the president as well.

  40. 40
    Publius39 says:

    Oh come on, that Ezra article was a troll article meant to get clicks, and to motivate liberals to invest in fainting couches and clutching-pearls. This is the same shit that was floated out during the debt ceiling debacle last year.

  41. 41

    @Raven:

    Yeah I get that, but has it ever occurred to you that a waitress who has been on her feet for 40 years is just flat out fucking tired? She is probably healthier than the lawyer but she is tired of standing up and wants to sit the fuck down for a spell? Not trying to get up in your grill here but damn, I have been a waitress and that shit is hard. I would like to think that she has earned the privilege of sitting on her ass in her jammies on her front porch with a cup of coffee for a couple of years before she dies.

  42. 42
    👽 Martin says:

    @cathyx:

    Any hint of a criticism of Obama is met with such an onslaught of ridicule and derision that it’s becoming so unpleasant to be here.

    This is not criticism of Obama. This is straight up bullshit analysis from a source that Cole didn’t even link to. At the precise moment that Cole posted this, Ezra was on TV saying the exact opposite of what the quoted bit above accuses him of saying. That’s bullshit and it deserves to be called out – even if it does come from KThug.

    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.

    Klein in his article says that he disagrees with the remedy. He laid out the math for why he disagrees. Krugman does as well. How did Krugman interpret that as ‘VSP fantasy about how we’re going to resolve this in a bipartisan way’? Wouldn’t a fantasy be something you approve of, not something you oppose?

  43. 43
    1badbaba3 says:

    Jeez Louise, Cole. Chill, baby. It’s your place. Ya oughtta be able to trash, flame, praise or marry who ya want.

    Except for Obama. He’s sacred. Hail Obama! Obama Akbar!

    Obot 1b-b3 over and out.

  44. 44
    👽 Martin says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Yeah I get that, but has it ever occurred to you that a waitress who has been on her feet for 40 years is just flat out fucking tired?

    That’s your argument? I’m 44, work 60 hours most weeks. I’m fucking tired too. Doesn’t mean I should get to retire early or draw benefits any differently.

    Now, the fact that the waitress paid into the system for 40 years and deserves to start Medicare on the day that she’s earned it – that’s a valid argument. That extending the Medicare age costs us 2x as much as just increasing payroll taxes to cover the outlay is a valid argument. Being tired is immaterial. We’re all tired.

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    Can’t we talk about something important, like drones or Bradley Manning?

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    In exchange, Obama is going to agree to remove the Obamacare tax on tanning beds.

    I don’t think that’s going to do it. Boehner’s tan comes from a bottle, not actual UV exposure.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @cathyx:

    Obamabots don’t want to do that.

    This has nothing to do with Obamabots or Decepticons or whatever other cute names we come up with for ourselves. This is about grounding our arguments in reality, whatever our views are, instead of engaging in the very behavior we accuse the GOP of engaging in.

  48. 48
    lacp says:

    Has anybody seen anything newsworthy (like a source with a name) about the fate of the cuts in the withholding tax? I think they’re supposed to expire with the new year, too.

  49. 49
    The Dangerman says:

    I don’t see Obama starting off Term 2 with a shit deal; if it was Texas Hold ‘Em, he’s flopped quads and Boehner will be lucky to keep his speakership by the time this hand plays out. Personally, having Cantor with the gavel would be a lot of fun for 2014, when the Republican Congress should have the popularity roughly on the scale of projectile vomiting.

  50. 50
    freelancer says:

    Drive off the fucking cliff, and have Reid propose McConnell’s debt ceiling negotiation tied to the same tax cuts for everyone except on income over 250k+ and return them to the rates they were not under Clinton, but under [horrors!] Reagan. 50% bitchez.

    Why is that so hard?!

  51. 51
    General Stuck says:

    And if you really think Obama is even the slightest bit unawares he holds all the cards in this matter, that notion should be squelched by the fact that he quite brazenly doubled down on new revenue requirements from 800 bil to 1.6 trillion. Does that kind of negotiating suggest desperation to get a grand bargain, or portend in any way, a sell out of anything?

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Boehner’s tan comes from a bottle,

    Much of what Boehner is comes from a bottle.

  53. 53

    @👽 Martin:

    Right, I am tired (it’s Friday after all), and I am all in favor of totally removing the cap on earnings for the social security taxes so that rich people pay into the system to support poor people. But, and it is a big but, you cannot throw the manual labor workers in with the desk job workers into the same pot when it comes to retirement age, it does not compute. When you have busted arse your entire life to earn you retirement and your body is just wasted you deserve the right to sit on the damn porch in your jammies drinking coffee. Period.

  54. 54
    Citizen_X says:

    @John O:

    That’s a deal that would piss me off as much as him pressing aggressive prosecution of MJ in CO and WA.

    Which was also vapory bullshit from the rumorsphere.

  55. 55
    parsimon says:

    The linked Krugman post goes to a Klein Wonkblog post which — and here’s the ticket with respect to raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 — goes to Jon Chait on why raising the Medicare age is okay.

    Take issue with Chait on his own ground. Klein, in the Wonkblog post, doesn’t give much evidence for the notion that Dems will give on raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @General Stuck:

    The whole premise is stupid. The two pieces of so-called “information” we have are that Obama would lower the top rate a couple of points and raise the Medicare age — two giveways to the GOP — and apparently get nothing in return. It’s literally impossible for that to be the deal.

  57. 57
    mclaren says:

    Yes, Obama’s got Boehner by the short hairs, and knowing Obama, he’ll find a way to wind up helpless and in a full nelson.

    Obama needs to ball in hard and tell the Republicans “We are going over the fiscal cliff. This country is going to shut down. Then your switchboards will light up with angry constituents screaming at you. At this point you have two choices: you can be screamed at by your constituents for driving America to the brink of a recession, or, if you continue this insanity, you can be voted out of office two years from now for driving America right into another recession. Choose.”

    But Obama won’t do that. Instead, he’ll cut Medicare and he’ll cut social security and then he’ll dole out more cash to our worthless impotent corrupt military, and Obama will whimper and bawl like a little infant that he had to do it and he had no choice.

    Why will Obama do this?

    Because he’s been hired by the top 1% the serve as the nice pleasant agreeable face of corporate oppression, the handsome spokesmodel for plutocratic oligarchy and paramilitary fascism. Romney was the evil unpleasant disagreeable face of corporate oppression. Good cop, bad cop. But both cops work for the same guy, and neither cop is your friend.

    Once again: hear it now, believe it later — when it happens.

  58. 58
    General Stuck says:

    @Baud:

    yup

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: My beautiful, brilliant, 64-year-old sister lost her job in the mortgage lending industry about 5 years ago, during the home mortgage debacle. She graduated in economics with highest honors. Now she wears her phi beta kappa key to work every day at Walgreen’s, where she works stocking shelves and clerking so she can have a minimum level of healthcare. The work plays hell on her back and knees, but she’s been holding on for her medicare at 65. I really hate the thought of my sister and others like her having to abuse their bodies additional years just to have a little health security.

    Oh yes, she lives in Fl., so no Obamacare for her…

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I think a lot of people who talk airily about raising the retirement age don’t realize that it’s already 67 for people born after 1960, not 65.

    ETA: Also, too — my boss is 67 and has worked a desk job her whole life, but between her heart issues and her asthma, I’m starting to get worried that they’re going to be carrying her out of her office on a gurney before she gets to enjoy retirement.

  61. 61
    Narcissus says:

    Like to see some evidence of some kind here

  62. 62
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Fuck Ezra Klein’s privileged ass. He graduates from UCSC, that makes him a fucking progressive? WTF qualifications does he have to pontificate about anything, other being a member of the Matt Yglesias class of 2004 political blogging, or when the fuck ever that was.

  63. 63
    1badbaba3 says:

    Speaking of whimpering and bawling…

    I’ll even throw in mewling and puking at no extra charge.

  64. 64
    mclaren says:

    @Baud:

    The whole premise is stupid. The two pieces of so-called “information” we have are that Obama would lower the top rate a couple of points and raise the Medicare age—two giveways to the GOP —and apparently get nothing in return. It’s literally impossible for that to be the deal.

    No, it’s literally inevitable for something like that to be the deal…knowing Barack Obama.

    Because Obama has stated that he’s standing firm against tax cuts for the rich, and that spells trouble. Obama has a history of always doing the exact opposite of what he promises. So this means that Obama has publicly stated that he’s in favor of more tax cuts for the rich.

    Bad news. Very very bad news.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @mclaren:

    You are delusional. Really, think about joining the wingnuts. You’d fit in, and they welcome converts.

  66. 66
    kc says:

    Dude, I thought this WAS an Obot site …

  67. 67
    manual says:

    The commenters here are ridiculous. Obama endorsed a Medicare age increase (a stupid, cruel and politically tone deaf idea) last year. Everyone know this. It’s well documented in Woodward’s book, and every lobbyist, politician, and journalist in DC knows he did.

    Why is it so hard to believe that he would re-endorse the position?

    And if the President is endorsing this position it is incumbent on all the putative liberals to push back and call their member of congress. We help elect a President not for self satisfaction but so they will do the right thing. And if they do not do the right thing, people should push back. If a Republican were floating this idea most people here would be apoplectic about such a cruel policy, but when Obama supports it (and he has in the past) its a mix of denial, shoulder shrugging or support of an otherwise bad plan.

    Stop pretending the 67 push is some crazy story; it’s quietly been the administration’s position for 2 years.

  68. 68
    gwangung says:

    Why is it so hard to believe that he would re-endorse the position?

    Because bargaining positions depends on context.

    And only idiots think that the political environment is the same now as it was then.

    Smart politicians are dynamic in their demands.

    A lot of people here are not very dynamic.

  69. 69
    Donut says:

    @👽 Martin:

    60 hours a week? Where do you ever find the time to post?

    Have you ever had a restaurant job? And I don’t mean part-time, I mean earned your living standing on the line, cooking, or humping huge boxes of meat, fish and produce in and out of walkins, or hauling around a bus-tub for hours on end, or operating a commercial dishwasher, or taken orders and put up with the general bullshit from asshole customers who think the 9.95 they’re plunking down for a fucking chef salad entitles them to treat you like shit, call you names, and stiff you on a measly $2 tip?

    I have done all that and more Ina restaurant, 40-60 hours a week, and it is god damned hard fucking work.

    I have a license to perform other white collar professional work now, and even with the dozens of airline trips, thousands of miles traveled, dozens of clients met and schmoozed, and countless hours on my phone and in front of my computer, I STILL do not work nearly as hard as I did when I worked food service for a living, over a six year span.

    I will freak the fuck out on Democrats if they agree to net benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, because I know if I weren’t so lucky to have had the breaks I have made for myself and gotten from others, I could easily be that person, that restaurant worker who deserves to sit the fuck down for a change, a couple of decades from now. I’ll be glad to see my god damn taxes go up to support working people getting a damn break when they are old.

  70. 70
    amk says:

    @manual: And you can stop pretending that 2012 happened.

  71. 71
    parsimon says:

    @manual:

    it is incumbent on all the putative liberals to push back and call their member of congress

    Certainly true.

  72. 72
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @manual: So he’s agreed to raise the age to the value it’s already going to be raised to?

  73. 73
    mclaren says:

    @Baud:

    That’s your total argument. I cite fact (Obama campaigned in 2008 by ridiculing Hillary’s insurance mandates, then once elected Obama turned around and pushed the public option off the table and forced mandates on the American public) after fact (Obama campaigned on “the right war at the right time” and long after every other human being in America had concluded that Afghanistan is an insane unwinnable pointless quagmire, Obama continues to slog away in that godforsaken hellhole) after fact (Obama campaigned in 2008 against the anticonstitutional abuses of the Bush maladministration, then once in the Oval Office Obama turns around and starts ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens without even accusing them of committing a crime)…and your response is that I’m delusional?

    That’s sad.

    You just can’t face the reality that your clay-footed idol Obama is only marginally different from Romney’s policy positions.

    Facts and logic: “delusion” to the obots. Typical.

    This is what a demented cult of personality looks like, the flip side of that sick twisted cult of personality around George W. Bush that gave us bizarre icons like this Bush-in-a-flight-suit GI-Joe-type action figure. “It’s not fascism if our guy does it! It’s not betrayal if our guy does it! It’s not de facto martial law and the end of the rule of law if a Democratic president does it!”

    Truly pathetic.

  74. 74
    Donut says:

    And yes I realize Ezra Klein was not doing hard reporting but any god damned trial balloons like this needs to be shouted the fuck down. And quick. John Cole is doing the right thing, and so is Krugman.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cathyx:

    Ezra Klein isn’t the only person saying this.

    Name two. Note that Paul Krugman and Jonathan Chait are not sources for this, because Krugman is quoting Klein and Klein is quoting Chait, as parsimon spotted.

    It’s sounding more and more like a blog-jerk (Chait to Klein to Krugman!), but if you can find two sources who are not referencing either Klein or Chait, I’d love to see them.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @mclaren:

    You forgot to add how he was really born in Kenya.

  77. 77
    gwangung says:

    You just can’t face the reality that your clay-footed idol Obama is only marginally different from Romney’s policy positions.

    This is not reality. That’s your fantasy, bigot.

  78. 78
    manual says:

    @ Martin

    Actually the exhaustion argument is real. Statistically speaking a) the waitress is less likely to live as long as you, meaning an age increase is effectively a benefit cut; and b)the waitress is likely to be sicker than you meaning private insurance will likely be more expensive for him or her and c) the waitress is more likely to face occupational stress on the body then someone on a keyboard. So yeah, the waitress just might be more physically exhausted and more in need of Medicare, and raising the age for him or her is a costly and dangerous gamble. But, lest you feel left out, that’s why Medicare covers everyone at the same age. If anything, we should lower it to help out our changing labor force which is laying people off earlier and so that older people do not crowd out labor force entrance for younger folks.

  79. 79
    Steeplejack says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I don’t think Litlebritdifrnt’s original point was that manual workers should get to “retire early.” She was objecting–and she can correct me if I’m wrong–to the idea pundits and legislators seem to have that upping the retirement age a couple of years is no big deal. It may not be for the average desk jockey, but it probably is for someone who has been doing manual labor or standing on their feet at work for 40 years.

    And, to address Raven’s point, diabetes and heart disease probably don’t interfere with a desk jockey’s doing his job (up until the point that heart attack or stroke whisks him away), but arthritis and degenerative joint diseases do interfere with, say, a construction worker’s ability to do his job.

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    The commenters here are ridiculous. Obama endorsed a Medicare age increase (a stupid, cruel and politically tone deaf idea) last year. Everyone know this. It’s well documented in Woodward’s book, and every lobbyist, politician, and journalist in DC knows he did.

    All of them? really. Anyways, Obama’s purported package offered, included a deal that Boehner couldn’t accept. Nor can he accept it now, especially with Obama upping the revenue anti. And I wouldn’t and don’t believe a word Woodward writes. He has long since been crowned king of the Village due to reporting one big story 40 years ago. The entitlement oozes off the dude, from those who are legends in the collective mind of the DC idjit press.

    But I do support writing your elected officials about your concerns. Just don’t try and sell we Obot personnel no snake oil in comments.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    By the way, I have no doubt that there are Very Serious Persons inside the Beltway who are sagely folding their hands and stating that we have to raise the Medicare age because shared sacrifice! I just doubt that they’re having much influence on the president or Nancy Pelosi.

  82. 82
    mclaren says:

    @Donut:

    WAKE THE FUCK UP. This trial balloon was sent up at Barack Obama’s behest. It’s part of his push to prepare the gullible dupes who voted for him to have their medicare benefits slashed and their social security benefits cut. Because austerity, of course. Which has done such wonderful things for Britain.

    Barack Obama is just the kinder gentler face of economic austerity, an insane self-destructive policy denounced by every competent knowledgeable economist in America. That doesn’t matter to Barack Obama, because he was hired by the top 1% to cut taxes on the rich and increase military spending (you want a militarized America under de facto martial law to keep the bottom 99% under control) and slash benefits for the bottom 99%.

    The plain fact of the matter is that the Obama administration has pursued savage brutally regressive and insanely economically destructive austerity policies. The charts prove it. The numbers document it.

    And liberals like the gullible dupes on this forum applaud like trained seals…despite the fact that those austerity policies are destroying their jobs, trashing the economy, and increasing inequality to levels never seen before in America even during the Gilded Age of the 1870s.

  83. 83
    amk says:

    @mclaren: did the fdl lady shut down her blog?

  84. 84
    mclaren says:

    @General Stuck:

    Only cranks like General Crackpot Fake Name and ignorant kooks like Mnemosyne are ridiculous. These people have drunk the purple Kool-Aid of Obama’s alleged 11-dimensional-chess wonderfulness as a mythical progressive leader, and now they’re standing around in the Jim Jones compound with Ak-47s trying to force everyone else to drink it.

    Such escapades do not end well.

  85. 85
    manual says:

    @amk: I get your clever quip, but is possible, just possible that Obama believes this. It was his idea to support the issue in 2011. Im not sure the electorate was hankering for an increase in the Medicare age. If anything, the election show us that people did not want that and it was a politically terrible idea in 2011 that was only vanquished by the stupidity of the Republican Congress.

    @Belafon: I’m guessing your confusing the age increase with social security. Medicare has no statutory increase of age. So, no, the proposal would change current law by increasing the age for retirees to receive government provided health insurance.

  86. 86
    mclaren says:

    @amk:

    Notice that the obots have nothing but name-calling to respond to the endless litany of Obama’s betrayals. “You’re delusional” is the response to the facts. “You’re crazy,” “you belong in an asylum,” and so on.

    This is the exact mirror image of the wingnuts calling anyone who pointed out that George W. Bush was an incompetent criminal halfwit “a moonbat.” The wingnuts used to laugh that anyone who stated the obvious facts about Bush’s criminal incompetence was “suffering from Bush derangement syndrome.”

    Cue the obots to claim that people who point out the inconvenient facts about Obama’s betrayal of his campaign promises and his embrace of insane self-destructive policies like the Global War on Terror and economic austerity and trying to “fix” America’s broken medical-industrial complex by forcing everyone in America to buy unaffordable private health insurance from greedy corrupt health care monopolies is “suffering from Obama derangement syndrome.”

  87. 87
    General Stuck says:

    @mclaren:

    Thinking outside the padded box. That’s our Mclaren.

  88. 88
    Lojasmo says:

    I don’t believe any of this foolishness.

  89. 89
    manual says:

    @General Stuck: Look you can be in denial all you would like. I don’t much care. But just don’t lie to the kids. Obama supported the age increase in 2011. Sorry.
    http://thinkprogress.org/healt.....-solution/

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ezra Klein has gone to the Dark Side.

    No hope for him. Tumbrel reservation now etched in granite.

  91. 91
    mclaren says:

    @General Stuck:

    Once again, no substantive response. Facts mean nothing: all guys like this have are insults and name-calling.

    The fact that every constitutional law professor in America has denounced Obama’s murder of U.S. citizens without a trial?

    Unimportant.

    The fact that every health care expert who knows anything about America’s health care delivery system has pointed out that the ACA does nothing to control costs and is therefore doomed to failure?

    Irrelevant.

    The fact that every military expert in the world outside the Pentagon regards America’s endless unwinnable war in Afghanistan as a lost cause, a pointless waste of money and manpower, a complete fiasco comparable to Vietnam?

    Insignificant.

    All that matters is that anyone who cites these facts is “mentally ill” and needs to be put in “padded room.”

    Why don’t you just call me a moonbat and deny global warming while you’re at it?

    Then your transformation into an inverse wingnut would be complete.

  92. 92
    mclaren says:

    @manual:

    Guy, you’re trying to argue with General Crackpot Fake Name. Waste of time. He’s a crank. His only response to facts and logic is vacuous name-calling and kindergarten-level insults.

    It’s like trying to argue with a guppy in a fishtank. Don’t bother.

  93. 93
    Lojasmo says:

    @mclaren:

    endless litany of Obama’s imaginary and speculative potential betrayals

    Fixt, dumbass.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @manual:

    Assuming Woodward’s reporting was accurate (and you seem to put a whole lot more trust in him than I do based on his previous books) … so what?

    No, seriously. What is it about the negotiations right now that is like the negotiations in 2011? Have the Democrats just lost the House in one of the largest wave elections in history? Is the deadline for the debt ceiling looming? Is there specific action that needs to be taken to prevent the government from automatically shutting down as would have happened with the debt ceiling?

    I realize that people like mclaren are completely convinced that Obama got himself elected with the sole aim of killing Medicare and Social Security — are you in that camp?

  95. 95
    dww44 says:

    I’m with Cole on this one and I’m screaming louder with him. I didn’t read any Ezra article but I did see him hosting the RMS tonight and most of that show was on the fiscal cliff issues. He had a 2 minute segment saying that Dems should go ahead and raise the Medicare eligibility age even though it really wasn’t a very large saver of tax dollars and in fact shifted those costs into the private sector where they became much larger. Also said it wasn’t really good policy either, but it would get buy-ins from the GOP and was a political payback.

    However, I am now on Medicare and in the years before that, thanks to the ways of the corporate world and early downsizing, my husband and I paid out almost $10M a year in health insurance premiums until we reached 65. And that was for 2 reasonably healthy post 60 but not yet 65 age retirees. Bring on that single payer sooner rather than later.

    Also he interviewed Peter Orszag, who’s now in some high falutin’ position with Citibank, and while I missed the first part of the interview, I heard enough to understand that Orszag is saying that Dems should offer SOMETHING to the GOP and tinker with Social Security. Now, that one makes me angry, because in what sane economic world does SS have anything to do with our current deficit and fiscal issues? I now understand why so many lefties have no liking for Mr. Orszag, who’s now feeding off the corporate banking system. He’s definitely no liberal.

  96. 96
    Hsquared says:

    I get so sick of all the preemptive whining. Ezra Klein doesn’t have any idea what kind of deal is forthcoming. Some people just can’t seem the wait to be “betrayed”.

    “you need to start screaming about this bullshit deal. Consider me to be screaming.”

    THERE IS NO FUCKING DEAL!!!!!!

  97. 97
    1badbaba3 says:

    So ridiculous in defeat. You wanna stay and get cat-toyed, cool. But don’t suppose that you’re any better at it than any of the idiots who come here with bullshit, get shown that it’s bullshit, and then start with the Obot/hive mind name-calling bullshit to cover for the fact that you got called out. Come back with some substance, not the butthurt ravings of a ‘bagger. Otherwise, fuck the fuck off.

  98. 98
    Lojasmo says:

    @mclaren:

    The fact that every constitutional law professor in America has denounced Obama’s murder of U.S. citizens without a trial?
    Unimportant.
    The fact that every health care expert who knows anything about America’s health care delivery system has pointed out that the ACA does nothing to control costs and is therefore doomed to failure?
    Irrelevant.
    The fact that every military expert in the world outside the Pentagon regards America’s endless unwinnable war in Afghanistan as a lost cause, a pointless waste of money and manpower, a complete fiasco comparable to Vietnam?

    That is a lot of stupid for a single post.

  99. 99
    General Stuck says:

    @manual:

    LOL, Sam Stein Huffpo, so it must be true. unnamed sources are a dime a dozen these days, but either way, you apparently are so deep in Obama sell out hysteria, you waltzed right over the points in my comment. Which are that whether Obama offered the moon and the stars to the wingnuts, they could not accept such a deal and would never vote to raise taxes, period. And they still aren’t likely to. It’s called strateegery, and Obama is good at it and you aren’t. deal with it.

    To whit. If you are going to give a link for your argument, you might want to check that it does not validate the other guys argument.

    Sources offered varied accounts regarding the seriousness with which the president had discussed raising the Medicare eligibility age. As the White House is fond of saying, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.

    What the WH was saying is don’t believe everything you hear of read. Nor cherry pick one cheery, when any deal will include the entire cherry tree.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @manual:

    From the article you linked to:

    Sources offered varied accounts regarding the seriousness with which the president had discussed raising the Medicare eligibility age. As the White House is fond of saying, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. And with Republicans having turned down a “grand” deal on the debt ceiling — which would have included $3 trillion in spending cuts, including entitlement reforms, in exchange for up to $1 trillion in revenues — it is unclear whether the proposal remains alive.

    I bolded it because it’s bolded in the original you linked to. So the fact that the president included the possibility of raising the Medicare age as part of one of multiple packages offered, with the caveat that it was a “take it or leave it” deal and the Republicans could not pick only that one part is, in your mind, proof positive that the president definitely wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age? Even though the article says that the different sources did not agree on whether it was even a serious offer?

  101. 101
    lacp says:

    If Medicare and SS are about to get trashed, somebody better give Nancy Pelosi the message. The last I heard (and admittedly it’s been a couple of days)she was very firmly and specifically against any such hanky-panky. Things can change in a hurry, but I would think that she’d be a lot more vague if she thought something was up.

    I’m one of the gloom-and-doom lefties who expects nothing but the worst, but it will take a bit more than Ezra Klein or one of the other fresh-faced young wankers spreading vague allegations before I start to hyperventilate.

  102. 102
    mclaren says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ezra Klein is a strange case. He periodically flirts with the dark side. Remember his weird-ass fucking column where he wrote about (and this is a literal word-for-word goddamn quote) “The virtues of Paul Ryan’s roadmap”?

    I mean..fuck!

    What the hell?

    Starving grannies so we can increase the deficit and cut taxes for the rich…and Ezra Klein is talking about the so-called “virtues” of Ryan’s insane policy proposal?

    Ezra Klein makes sense a lot of the time, but every once in a while he just goes over the edge into Crazyland where the Republican economists spend their entire lives. You know…Tyler Cowen country, where Ayn Rand wasn’t a nutjob welfare queen, but a brave serious thinker.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @General Stuck: @Mnemosyne:

    I love how Obama really wants to gut Medicare and Social Security, but just can’t get the GOP to go along with it.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lacp: Gee, I wonder if Obama and Pelosi ever discuss strategy and tactics for these things…

  105. 105
  106. 106
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    mind meld

  107. 107
    Allan says:

    John, it appears that your blog has been hacked by Susie Madrak and she’s publishing under your name.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No, it’s proof positive that raising the Medicare age is on the table. And that policy is insane. Stark raving insane.

    Why?

    Because, Mnemosyne, as every fucking competent economist in America has pointed out, raising the Medicare eligibility age actually costs more money without fixing Medicare at all.

    “Raising the Medicare elgibility age is a terrible idea,” Matthew Yglesias, 5 December 2012.

    I have a column out about the idea of raising the Medicare eligibility age, a disastrous idea that saves taxpayers only at the expense of raising overall health care spending.

    “I hope this isn’t true,” Paul Krugman, 7 December 2012:

    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.

    First, raising the Medicare age is terrible policy. It would be terrible policy even if the Affordable Care Act were going to be there in full force for 65 and 66 year olds, because it would cost the public $2 for every dollar in federal funds saved. And in case you haven’t noticed, Republican governors are still fighting the ACA tooth and nail; if they block the Medicaid expansion, as some will, lower-income seniors will just be pitched into the abyss.

    “Raising Medicare Eligibility Will Hurt Seniors, States, and Employers,” Sy Mukherjee, US News and World Report, 6 December 2012.

    The most frustrating thing about proposals to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 is that those who advocate the hike take for granted that it’s an oh-so-logical approach to controlling healthcare spending. “People are living longer, so isn’t [the current] age sort of outmoded and isn’t that a good thing to address long-term?” Fox News host Martha MacCallum pointedly asked Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen on her program last week. (..)

    But the reality is, once you delve into the mechanics and consequences of raising the Medicare age on a deeper level than “people are living longer,” it becomes glaringly obvious that such a move would hurt seniors, states, and employers—all without achieving significant Medicare savings or addressing the actual roots of our healthcare cost crisis.

  110. 110
    jefft452 says:

    “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”

    I think that that is all it is
    But by all means, scream away
    Screaming about really bad ideas that aren’t likely to get traction … is how you stop them from getting traction

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dww44:

    Just to be clear — there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing to your representative, your senators and, yes, the president to tell them what a really, really terrible idea this is. In fact, we should all probably plan to do that over the weekend.

    Still, all of this sounds like punditubbies spouting the conventional wisdom about “shared sacrifice” and how poor and middle-class people should have to give up Medicare, not an actual plan from the Democrats. It’s bullshit, but I’m pretty sure it’s not bullshit that’s being generated by Democrats.

    (Or at least not Democrats in the leadership. I’m sure that Blue Dog asshole Heath Shuler is wandering around talking about how raising the Medicare age is a great idea.)

  112. 112
    mclaren says:

    @Allan:

    John Cole is conflicted, as we all are about Obama. On the one hand, John supported Obama for president in 2012 and in 2008 because, seriously — what the fuck was the alternative? The crazy old guy and the cheerleader in 2008? The zombie-eyed granny starver and Gordon Gecko in 2012?

    But if you look at Cole’s posts, he hammers Obama hard on a lot of issue. That “secret kill list.” The never-ending miltiarization of America, with all those endless unwinnable wars overseas — now Syria. Next, what? Mexico? Norway? Who the fuck knows? And all insane, all pointless, all senseless, all self-destructive and counterproductive, creating more terrorists who hate America…not less. Cole slams Obama for ramping up DEA raids on state medical marijuana facilities. Cole has been relentless about criticizing Obama for his completely crazy ongoing drone attacks that murder innocent women and children, and then target the Red Cross aid workers who try to help them.

    So Cole has been hitting a lot of Obama’s policies hard. The problem is that the Republican politicians who might serve as alternatives to Obama and the Democratic leadership are all insane evil sociopaths. So Cole finds himself between a rock and a hard place. At the end of the day, he feels he has to support Obama, and I can’t blame him. But Cole is very uncomfortable with a lot of Obama’s policies, as any thinking sensible person must be.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck:

    It was kinda hard to miss that part, what with it being bolded and all.

  114. 114
    Xenos says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    But, and it is a big but, you cannot throw the manual labor workers in with the desk job workers into the same pot when it comes to retirement age, it does not compute. When you have busted arse your entire life to earn you retirement and your body is just wasted you deserve the right to sit on the damn porch in your jammies drinking coffee. Period.

    The SS system is suppsed to account for this – it is not a retirement system per se, but an insurance against being disabled or aged. So if someone has spent a lifetime doing manual labor that has left them unable to work at the age of 55, they ought to be receiving benefits then, when they need them.

    In practice, of course, it is easy to make it difficult for working class folks to qualify as disabled in order to keep state medicaid budgets low. The whole system needs to be dramatically revamped, but good luck with that in the current environment.

  115. 115
    mclaren says:

    While Mnemosyne and General Crackpot Fake Name congratulate each other on hurling insults, here are some more substantive arguments against raising the Medicare elgibility age as just plain bad economic policy:

    “Worked Over: Why Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age is a Bad Idea,” Tom Dalzell, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, 7 December 2012.

    Upping the Medicare age may look like a good idea on paper to those crafting this deal in D.C. — but therein lies the problem. Ignored by the wonks in Washington is the difference between actual physical work — in our members’ cases, that often means climbing up utility poles to fix live wires in the middle of a storm — and the more academic, behind-the-desk pursuits of the people proposing this change.

    The people who need Medicare most at 65 are the men and women who literally put their backs into building this country. They do demanding work in factories and construction, pour steel in mills, build bridges and roads and more — and they are often not physically able to put off retirement until they’re nearly 70. Forcing them to continue performing tough physical work into their late 60s or risk losing their health care isn’t an option our leaders should entertain.

    And if you believe the Center for Budget Priorities and Policy and the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, it isn’t an option that will save us any money, either. While making the change would net the federal government $5.7 billion in its first year of full implementation, purchasing those same benefits without the massive volume discounts Medicare is able to secure will cost states, employers and individuals $11.4 billion a year. In the words of Matt Yglesias, that’s “akin to raising $12 billion in taxes and then setting half the money on fire.”

    Non-partisan health care foundations denounce this proposal as bad policy. Nobel laureate in economics Paul Krugman denounces this proposal as bad policy. Policy wonk after policy wonk denounces this proposal as bad policy.

    So what does Barack Obama, our eloquent suave progressive president, do?

    He embraces this bad policy that will cost Medicare more money and make things worse.

  116. 116
    Allan says:

    @mclaren: I like pie too.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    I have linkies, too, sweetie:

    Asked in an interview with CNBC if the administration was ready to go over the so-called fiscal cliff if Republicans don’t come around on taxes, Obama’s chief negotiator, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, responded: “Oh, absolutely.” (emphasis mine)
    (snip)
    In his speech to executives, Obama said it was a “bad strategy” for Republicans to believe they would have more leverage next year to extract concessions from the White House by threatening to let the United States default.

    “I want to send a very clear message to people here: We are not going to play that game next year,” Obama told the executives.

    Yep, that sure sounds like a guy who’s looking to conciliate the Republicans and do whatever they want. You’re as astute a predictor of political behavior as ever, mclaren.

  118. 118
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @mclaren: “embraces” Citation needed.

  119. 119
    Xenos says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Tumbrel reservation now etched in granite.

    No, no, etching granite takes too long, uses environmentally unsafe acids, and is not sufficiently portable.

    Take up knitting, and use a code to put Yglesias’ name into the stitches. Then, as you watch the guillotine come down, pull the stiches out.

    You’d best get to work, as there is a lot of knitting to be done.

  120. 120
    Lojasmo says:

    i suspect Ted and Helen is McClaren’s sock puppet.

    Seriously, folks, chill the fuck out.

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Yep, and that is why the medicare age has been raised and social security cut every time Obama has negotiated with the GOP the fucker just can’t wait to cut social welfare programs. Oh, wait… That didn’t happen.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    The funniest part is that you seem to have no clue that I have said several times in this very thread that raising the Medicare eligibility age is a very bad idea.

    Do you just scan for names and keywords and then respond to what you think the person might have said without actually reading the comment? “I see the keywords ‘Mnemosyne’ and ‘Medicare’ are in the same commment — she must be saying it’s a good idea to raise the eligibility age! Quick, to the Crackmobile!”

  123. 123
    jamick6000 says:

    People defending Obama on this — maybe you’re right that he has no intention of agreeing to this shitty deal. I’m not convinced, since he’s flirted with this kind of thing in the past, but whatever. What’s the worst that can happen if we make a stink opposing this? That we remind congress and the president that there are a lot of people who like Medicare?

    No matter how much you love Obama or your congressperson, they need to be pushed.

  124. 124
    amk says:

    @mclaren:

    General Crackpot Fake Name congratulate each other on hurling insults,

    self-awareness – you oughta try it sometime.

  125. 125
    Dr. Squid says:

    So what does Barack Obama, our eloquent suave progressive president, do?

    He embraces this bad policy that will cost Medicare more money and make things worse.

    Based on what? Sources? Unnamed sources? Your imagination?

    Intentional lies ginned up by the firebagger elitists that think they’re the base while they’re a bunch of indolent racist pigs shrieking from the sidelines?

    You haven’t covered yourself with glory here, boy. My conclusion is that you’re a liar, Bubbles.

  126. 126
    mclaren says:

    Incidentally, it should be pellucidly clear to everyone what’s going on here. Both Obama and the Republicans all agree that the way to solve the cost crisis of America’s unaffordable medical care is to limit availability of medical care.

    That’s it. That’s their solution. If someone gets sick, the way to prevent America from going broke because of the sky-high cost of U.S. medical care is…to prevent the sick person from obtaining medical care.

    That’s all that raising the medicare elgibility age does. It prevents people from getting medical care. That’s all that the individual mandate does. It jacks up endlessly rising co-pays, generates unaffordable health insurance premiums, because the underlying cost of health care in America is on an exponential upward curve to infinity with no cost controls. None. Zero. Nothing.

    And so the individual mandate also prices more and more people out of health care.

    This is the “law of the arena” solution to America’s health care crisis. If the price of health care rises, save money by preventing an increasingly number of people from obtaining health care.

    But that’s just a thinly disguised way of murdering Americans who aren’t rich. “Health care is too expensive for you. So you have to die.” That’s the bottom line here. If you’re not rich, America’s health solution is for you to die.

    Barack Obama and his cronies in congress have got all the government health care they’ll ever need. If Barack Obama gets a hangnail, a government chopper will LifeFlght him to Bethesda Naval Hospital where he’ll be worked on by a team of the best surgeons in the world.

    But John Q. Public? Sorry, health care is too expensive for you. So you have to go away and die. You’re not 67 yet. Gotta let that heart condition worsen until you keel over and collapse. Gotta let that arthritis worsen until you can’t close your hands or walk.

    Pure pointless senseless cruelty. This is the politics of the Ben Hur 1959 chariot race — where Judah Ben Hur tells his sponsor how much he hates his childhood friend Messala and wants to kill him, the sponsor of Ben Hur’s chariot smiles and says: “There is no law in the arena.”

    Yup. Ice floe time, baby. Shithole America has generated into barbarism. Time to dump the old people on ice floes and send ’em off to die. We don’t have enough money for health care for old people, so let’s raise the medicare elgibility age and kill ’em off.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lojasmo:

    Nah — mclaren was spreading the crazy around here long before Special Timmy first showed up.

  128. 128
    lacp says:

    @mclaren: No can do, scout. Ice floes have all melted, what with climate change ‘n shit.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jamick6000:

    What’s the worst that can happen if we make a stink opposing this? That we remind congress and the president that there are a lot of people who like Medicare?

    As I have said at least twice in this thread, and will say again, I think everyone SHOULD write to their representative, both senators, and the president this weekend.

    However, I think it’s probably counterproductive to inform any of them that you’re well aware of the president’s dastardly plan to kill Medicare and Social Security and you want them to resist his efforts with all their might, because they’ll put your letter in the “crackpot” file.

    ETA: Or, if your rep and/or senators are Republicans, they’ll have you testify in front of the House about your investigation and findings into the evil deeds of the president, which no one other than mclaren really wants.

  130. 130
    Percysowner says:

    I would be a LOT more concerned about this if I didn’t follow Americablog. For the past four years they have been yelling about how Obama has stated that everything is on the table and he is willing to sell out Medicare and Social Security because he is too far right and not willing to fight for what is right. And yet, here we are four years later with Medicare and Social Security untouched.

    President Obama is the first black president. He can NOT at any time look like an angry black man. He must at all times look reasonable and willing to compromise because otherwise he becomes the angry black man who will overrun the country with Black Panthers and ACORN. So he HAS to say that everything, including Medicare and Social Security is on the table. He HAS to be the responsible adult because otherwise his is “the Boy” who is trying to do a (white) man’s job. Obama is extremely lucky, though. He is fighting a party that won’t take yes for an answer. So Obama can SAY everything is on the table, safe in the knowledge that the only deal the Republicans will take is for Obama to ask Bide to resign, appoint Paul Ryan as Vice President and then step down. And even then at least 27% of the Republicans would believe this is some kind of trick and refuse the offer. Heck, Mitch McConnell would filibuster accepting the offer because Obama has a secret black plan to take over the world.

    Obama would be an IDIOT to give ground on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but he has to look willing to compromise to deal with the fake deficit issue. As far as I see, this is all political theater on his part. The Republicans are in a tough spot. If they raise Middle class taxes they look bad. They want to seem to get a concession from Obama. If Obama shoots them down in public they can whine that Obama failed to save the nation because he wouldn’t compromise. So Obama says, I will discuss anything. Then when he and Boehner discuss thing behind close doors, Obama dicusses Social Securtiy and Medicare and then says yeah, no.

    Right now Kevin Drum is on a big “save Medicaid” spiel and is pushing for reforms that aren’t necessary. TPM is saying that if they don’t reach a bargain, the fiscal cliff will destroy this country. So Obama is getting ridiculous pressure from both the right and the left. I think Obama is smart, a good politician and a Democrat. He reads the polls. He has to know that giving up on SS and Medicare would weaken the Democratic party. For now, I’m giving him credit to do the thing that will keep his party in power as opposed to torpedoing their strongest assets.

  131. 131
    mclaren says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    You haven’t covered yourself with glory here, boy. My conclusion is that you’re a liar, Bubbles.

    Thanks for telling that ignorant lie. You’ve now identified yourself as a Joe McCarthy-style smear artist, and turned your name into a lump of excrement that sticks in everyone’s throat.

    So Paul Krugman is a liar — because he’s saying exactly the same thing I am. Matthew Ylgesias is also a liar, because he’s saying exactly the same thing I am. All liars, all crazy people, the usual smear job.

    You need to learn how to use a MCarthy smear tactic better, because your smears just aren’t cutting it. When Nobel laureates in economics and respected pundits are all on the same page, saying the same thing, you’ve got a real serious problem when you start calling them all liars.

    Pro tip: make sure your smear is credible before you trot it out. Your character assassination has to pass the straight-face test before it can, you know, actually work.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Percysowner: This.

  133. 133
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Once again, zero substantive arguments. When I point out that raising the Medicare eligibility age will actually cost more money without fixing the underlying problem, that’s “spreading the crazy.”

    When I point out that the news reports show that Obama has put medicare eligibility age increases on the table, that’s “spreading the crazy.”

    And when I cite quotes from Nobel laureates in economics that show what incredibly bad economic policy this is, what do we call that?

    Why, “spreading the crazy,” of course.

    A typical Mnemosyne post — devoid of facts, lacking in arguments, and showing everywhere the utmost littleness of mind.

  134. 134
    Dr. Squid says:

    mclaren,

    Fuck you. You know nothing and you are nothing. Nothing has happened, no deal has been made, no eligibility age has been raised, and your carping that it’s a done deal is a lie. You can lie about what Krugthulu says as much as you want, but it’s still a lie and you know it.

    You’re a liar.

    You’re a liar.

    You’re a liar.

    And all you can come up with: Derrrr! You’re a liar! So there!

    The only thing left: do you get excited by lynching parties? It sounds like you’ve been to a few of them.

  135. 135
    MikeJ says:

    @Dr. Squid: I think it’s unfair to call Mclaren a liar. I think pie really *is* delicious, and I don’t care who knows it.

  136. 136
    Ronc99 says:

    Dear John: Ezra Klein & Jon Chait are saying 37% & up Medicare retirement age, NOT the President. They are Village Idiots employed by Wall St. Please apologize for being a drama queen. Thanks!

  137. 137
    mclaren says:

    @Percysowner:

    Obama would be an IDIOT to give ground on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (…)

    Once again, this is the “Obama’s reported policy is too stupid to believe.” As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, history shows that’s not a good argument.

    During the ACA negotiations with congress, Obama’s reported position was that a health care mandate was on the table and a nationalized public option was off the table. People dismissed those reports because Obama’s reported policy was too stupid to believe. They said Obama would be an idiot to put forward a proposal like that. And look what we got.

    Throughout the long descent into our current Afghanistan quagmire, Obama’s reported position was a set of surges and counterinsurgency actions and all sorts of other demented pointless wastes of money and manpower. People dismissed those reports because Obama’s reported policy was too stupid to believe. They said Obama would be an idiot to go with military policies like that. And look what we got.

    Obama’s policies have been stupid beyond belief across the board, so the claim “Obama would be an IDIOT” just isn’t a credible argument.

    Pass a health care “reform” law that forces everyone to pay unaffordable infinitely rising health insurance premiums with no cost controls on the underlying medical care? “Obama would be an IDIOT!”

    Stay in a quagmire in Afghanistan, the “graveyard of empires” that defeated everything from Alexander the Great to the British Empire to the Soviet Union, long after every military expert has thrown in the towel and declared it a lost cause? “Obama would be an IDIOT!”

    Buy into Dick Cheney’s crazy global war on terror to the extent of ordering your own citizens assassinated without even accusing them of a crime? “Obama would be an IDIOT!”

    Crank up the war on drugs against cancer patients in wheelchairs who are legally buying weed from state dispensaries? “Obama would be an IDIOT!”

    Sign off on a crazy panopticon surveillance state that now wiretaps every American’s phone and computer and bank accounts in gross violation of the constitution? “Obama would be an IDIOT!”

    Cave in on last year’s debt ceiling negotiations without getting any substantive in return from the Republicans? “Obama would be an IDIOT!”

    Sorry, buckaroo, but that recitative just doesn’t fit with the current presidential oratorio.

  138. 138
    Jeff Spender says:

    The thing that I’ve noticed about mclaren over the time I’ve been reading this blog is that this person spews so much data but has extremely flawed and hysterical conclusions that time often proves incorrect.

  139. 139
    mclaren says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Keep screaming your sociopathic smears. You have nothing else — no facts, no evidence, no arguments. Just name-calling. Standard stuff.

    Keep it up. You’re telling everyone exactly who and what you are.

  140. 140
    Dr. Squid says:

    Once again, zero substantive arguments. When I point out that raising the Medicare eligibility age will actually cost more money without fixing the underlying problem, that’s “spreading the crazy.”

    What you lie about here, boy, is that people here don’t think that raising the age is a stupid idea. Somehow you got it in your head that you’re the only one with the received wisdom about Medicare and that anyone who flames your sorry ass must be doing it because they’re poohpoohing the idea that raising the eligibility age is stupid.

    We’re not doing that; we already know it’s stupid. Everyone here has tried to tell you that, but you’re too fucking thick to get through. I’m sorry I spent money to educate willfully ignorant functional right wingers like yourself.

    It is not a fact that 65 to 67 is a done deal. And given that you’re the source, I’m inclined to believe that it’s a lie.

  141. 141
    mclaren says:

    Last week, President Barack Obama insisted that nothing could be off limits in talks to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

    Source: “Obama Says ‘Nothing Can Be Off-Limits’ In Budget Talks,” AP wire service.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Saturday that “nothing can be off-limits” in the budget debate — even though Republicans have said tax increases are. The president said every tax break and federal program must come under scrutiny.

    Better start writing hysterical e-mails to the AP wire service accusing them of lying. “You’re a liar! You’re a liar! You’re a liar!” Scream it over and over again. Maybe it’ll help.

    When Obama says “nothing can be off-limits,” that includes raising the Medicare eligibility age, shit-for-brains.

  142. 142
    Jeff Spender says:

    @mclaren:

    Obama got an e-mail from a Nigerian Prince who has a couple billion dollars he needs to move out of the country.

    That’s also on the table, didn’t you know?

  143. 143
    Dr. Squid says:

    Mclaren,

    Since you’ve ignored every substantive argument to moan about being ‘smeared’ every time someone points out that you and reality don’t get along, I can only assume that ‘substantive argument’ really isn’t your thing.

    Your opinion of me means nothing, for you are nothing but shit on a sidewalk.

  144. 144
    mclaren says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Keep those lies coming. You’re sinking yourself irreparably.

    “Nothing can be off-limits, including spending in the tax code, particularly the loopholes that benefit very few individuals and corporations,” the president said.

    Source: AP news service, op cit.

    Better e-mail Barack Obama and starting screaming at him that he’s liar.

    Because “nothing can be off-limits,” means nothing. As in: including raising the medicare eligibility age.

    You need to scream your smears much louder and far more quickly. Your objective here is to duplicate the old Senator Joe McCarthy trick of shouting down the person you’re trying to smear so that the evidence can’t be heard and the facts get drowned out.

    Sadly for you, not really possible online. Maybe if you were chairing the House Unamerican Activities Committee…

  145. 145
    Dr. Squid says:

    @mclaren: Oooh, that means it must be a done deal.

    Nigerian government officials must love you.

  146. 146
    mclaren says:

    @Dr. Squid:
    Since you’re now calling Barack Obama a liar, who can possibly take you seriously?

    Stick a fork in yourself. You’re done here.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I like how the concept of the “trial balloon” makes bitching and moaning on a blog about things that haven’t happened and are attributed to no one an act of heroic resistance. “We have to shoot down that trial balloon! Pew pew pew kablooooosh!”

  148. 148
    Ronc99 says:

    McClaren posts like that Obama-hating LWNJ, Gaius Publius, over at AmericaBlog.com. Both are drama queens in search of an audience. Neither have a clue!

  149. 149
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mclaren: also, when Obama says nothing can be off limits, it includes giving all cancer patients arsenic enemas, because that’s also a thing, not nothing, so it’s not off limits, so we’d best be complaining loud and long to make sure it doesn’t happen!

  150. 150
    mclaren says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    Are you drunk, or just wacked out on hard drugs?

    Now you’re describing AP news reports that Barack Obama says “nothing can be off-limits” as equivalent to “e-mail from a Nigerian Prince” promising billions of dollars, you’ve drifted off into LaLa-Land.

    Typical reality-denial by obots. Give a direct quote from Barack Obama, and they hysterically deny it, call it “insane,” claim it’s a kooky email from a Nigerian price, and so on.

  151. 151
    Dr. Squid says:

    @mclaren: You’re just weird, boy. Somehow you made up that the President is your source that 65 to 67 is a done deal.

    Insert cooking cliche here, boy.

  152. 152
    mclaren says:

    @Ronc99:

    You’re not trying hard enough with your smears. You need to use the race card. I’m not just “Obama-hating,” you need to smear me as a racist white supremist Klansman wannabe-Lee-Harvey-Oswald.

    You guys aren’t too good at this smear stuff. You need to practice some more. I guess Democrats haven’t had as much practice as this kind of underhanded sleazy smear tactic as Republicans, especially since Karl Rove took over the Republican party.

    You need to phone Rove and ask him for advice. Step up your game. You’re looking for a Swift Boat 2004-type smear here, not something as weak-ass as calling anyone who criticizes some of Obama’s policies as an “Obama-hater.”

  153. 153
    Dr. Squid says:

    Mclaren calling a basketball game…

    Chalmers takes the ball upcourt – that’s incredibly stupid, he’s not a scorer
    He passes to Wade – Basketball 101: You can’t score if you don’t put the ball in the hoop, all this passing bullshit is pure cowardice.
    Wade in traffic, passes back out to Haslem – this is amateur hour, the hoop is that way morons!! All the money these guys get and they are too afraid to do the job
    Back to Wade -he’s back out to the line and meanwhile that fool James is running around without the ball – you need the ball to score idiot.
    Wade to James, dunk. Finally they listened to us.

  154. 154
    Ronc99 says:

    @mclaren: McClaren, you act as *IF* AP is still valid or relevant. They are so far right they can see YOU from their porch! Next subject.

  155. 155
    mclaren says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Poor move. You’ve stopped screaming that I’m a liar, and now you’ve dropped back to calling me “weird.”

    No, that’s not the way Karl Rove would do it. Rove would step it up. You need to call me a child molester who sells drugs to unborn foetuses. Something really spectacular. That’s the key in the Swift Boat smear: scream some charge so heinous, so outrageous, that the victim of the smear can’t even defend himself, because he’s gobsmacked at the sheer audacity of the character assassination.

    Keep practicing, buckaroo. You’re not even close to being in the same league as Karl Rove or Senator Joe McCarthy or the true master, Richard Nixon.

  156. 156
    Ronc99 says:

    @mclaren: Consider yourself “swiftboated”, Missy!

  157. 157
    amk says:

    @Dr. Squid: you win the thread.

  158. 158
    mclaren says:

    Why would Obama leave open the option that he’ll agree to a policy as self-destructive and as stupid as raising the medicare elgibility age?

    Because Obama has fatally committed to reducing the deficit as a top priority. That’s a fundamental mistake. In the midst of a massive recession like the one we’re in, Obama needs to commit to reducing unemployment as his top priority. Fuck the deficit. The deficit can go hang until we get the economy moving again.

    Well, Romney lost, so what now? It’s not over. Unlike Romney, President Obama actually feels obliged to reduce the federal deficit as Bill Clinton did. Obama promised to do so, and, unfortunately, he meant it. This promise, which, unlike Romney, President Obama takes seriously, now compels Obama to reduce government spending and to increase taxes on the rich. That’s how deficits get reduced. However, those two policies in tandem tend to reduce employment. It is easy to increase employment by lowering taxes and deficit spending; hard to do it while reducing government spending and raising taxes.

    The fact is, alas, Obama’s misguided fidelity to the deficit reduction credo has already created problems for the economy, and now creates them anew for the future. By following a conservative economic policy of austerity, the first Obama administration forsook what should have been a Democratic administration’s main program tool for stimulating employment: vigorous counter – cyclical spending that increased federal deficits while rebuilding our civilian infrastructure and setting up the green economy that will carry the USA through the next fifty years. The result of Obama’s “highly responsible policy” of austerity was a feeble recovery that permitted the Republicans to complain that they could produce more jobs.

    It need not have been this way. Had Obama embraced Franklin Roosevelt’s policy of massive government spending to create employment, as the progressive wing of his own party begged him to do, then Obama might have greatly strengthened the economy’s job creation. In that case, Republicans could not have complained with some justice that the recovery has been anemic. Instead, Obama embraced austerity, and got the feeble growth austerity permits. In effect, Obama embraced a conservative economic nostrum, austerity, and meant it, whereas the Republicans have secretly taken on board military Keynesianism.

    Source: “Obama Embraces Chump Economics,” the American Institute for Progressive Economics.

    But we all know the answer to that. This guy is “weird,” he’s “a liar!” and he needs to be in “a padded room,” and so on.

  159. 159
    Ronc99 says:

    @amk: I concur!!! Dr. Squid squished McClaren like da bug he/she was born!

  160. 160
    mclaren says:

    Dr. Squid calling a basketball game:

    Player takes a shot and scores a three-pointer.

    Dr. Squid [pointing at the score]: “You’re a liar! You’re a LIAR!”

    Another player takes a shot and scores 2 points.

    Dr. Squid [purple-faced and hysterical, still pointing at the score on the board]: “LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!!!”

    Another player passes the ball and makes a jump shot, scores.

    Dr. Squid [red-faced with mania, howling at the score on the big board]: “LIAR! LIAR! LIAAAAAAAAAAAR!”

  161. 161
    Ellyn says:

    I can’t believe Obama would be stupid enough to immediately betray his supporters less than a month after the elections. If he does, 2014 will look a lot like 2010. Dems won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking back the house. I went to my congressional rep’s victory party on election night in order to tell her to support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid AS THEY ARE. And she said the only change she would support is raising the $107K cap on Social Security. Perhaps I should remind her every day until this bullshit is resolved. I agree with Howard Dean. We should just go over the fiscal hump.

  162. 162
    Ronc99 says:

    @mclaren: American Institute for Democracy? Another stink tank funded by Wall St that gullible FOOLS, like you, get sucked into…pucker up, punk!

  163. 163
    Yutsano says:

    @mclaren: Sigh. You’re not even trying anymore.

  164. 164
    jefft452 says:

    @jamick6000: “What’s the worst that can happen if we make a stink opposing this? That we remind congress and the president that there are a lot of people who like Medicare?”

    well said

  165. 165
    Rogers says:

    Calm down. Nancy’s on the case. Allow me to translate. “I don’t see any reason for that to be in the agreement” is simply polite pidgen Pelosi-ese for “Over my Mother!@*?ing dead body.

  166. 166
    mclaren says:

    Video from 2010 of Obama essentially agreeing with Paul Ryan’s (terrible) plan to “reform” (AKA guy) Medicare.

    Barack Obama: “This is an entirely legitimate proposal. The problem is twofold. One is that, depending on how it’s structured, if recipients are suddenly getting a plan that has reimbursement rates that are going like this [hands describe a flat line] but health care costs are still going up like that [hands describe a steep upward curve], then over time the way we’re saving money is by essentially over time capping what they’re getting relative to their costs. Now I just want to point out — and this brings me to the second problem — when we made a very modest proposal as part of our package, our health care insurance package, to eliminate the subsidies going to insurance companies as part of Medicare Advantage, we were attacked across the board by many on your aisle for `slashing medicare.’ Remember? We’re gonna start cuttin’ benefits for seniors. That was the story that was perpetrated, that scared the dickens out of a lot of seniors. No, no, but here’s my point: if the main question is gonna be what do we do about Medicare costs, any proposal that Paul [Ryan] makes will be painted — factually, from the perspective of those who disagree with it — as cutting benefits over the long term. Paul, I don’t think you disagree with that, that there is a political vulnerability to doing anything that tinkers with Medicare. And that’s probably the biggest saving that are obtained through Paul [Ryan’s] plan. I raise that because we’re not gonna be able to do anything about any of these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put forward as `Well, you know, that other party is being irresponsible.'”

    Those are Barack Obama’s own words from 2010. Now here’s Nobel laureate in economics Paul Krugman describing Paul Ryan’s so-called “deficit reduction” plan:

    “The plan’s a fraud. The plan is a big bunch of tax cuts, some specified spending cuts, basically for poor people, and then a huge magic asterisk which is supposed to turn into a deficit reduction plan, but, in fact, if you look what’s actually in it, it’s a deficit-increasing plan.”

    Source: Paul Krugman on ABC’s This Week, June 2012.

    Compare: Barack Obama says that Paul Ryan’s scheme is “an entirely legitimate proposal.” Paul Krugman calls it “a fraud” and “flimflam.”

    Now keep telling everyone that Obama has no intention of cutting medicare or raising the medicare eligibility age…

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    Once again, zero substantive arguments. When I point out that raising the Medicare eligibility age will actually cost more money without fixing the underlying problem, that’s “spreading the crazy.”

    No, the “spreading the crazy” part is where you don’t seem to comprehend anything I’ve actually said and start arguing against stances I haven’t actually made.

    ETA: I think the Medicare eligibility age should stay at 65. Go ahead. Prove me wrong.

  168. 168
    bemused senior says:

    @Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne, as someone who just had my 64th birthday and looked this up, I was surprised to discover that Medicare age is 65 even though social security age is 67ish.

  169. 169
    Yutsano says:

    @bemused senior: Medicare age (AFAIK) hasn’t changed since its founding. And that was all Lyndon Johnson could get at the time although he did try to make it a national single payer system at first. How different things would be now if he had succeeded.

  170. 170
    Xenos says:

    @mclaren: You really how to organize an argument, do you? If you acknowledge that an argument makes logical sense but then demonstrate why it is a really, really, stupid idea, you are not giving up the fight. You are just showing a little respect for people who disagree with in the hope that they might listen to your critique.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @bemused senior:

    That is correct. I’m assuming it has something to do with health insurance actuarial tables — people may have a longer life expectancy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have better overall health.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @bemused senior:

    Also, too — from what I’ve been told, you will soon be deluged with Medicare mail since they like to have the paperwork all done prior to your 65th birthday, so you would have figured it out soon. ;-)

  173. 173
    H says:

    I have no idea if Obama supports raising the retirement age. What I do know is that between the Democrats in the House, the Senate and Obama, we get a lot of stupid neoliberal proposals passed into law. Maybe Obama isn’t the one floating this. But if Klein is spouting this stuff, my guess is that somebody in the group of Obama, the House Democrats and the Senate Democrats is floating the idea. So, I agree that we should raise a stink now before it’s too late. Because if the Democrats actually pass this, it’s game over. The Republicans will turn around and run against the Democrats for cutting Medicare. If this actually passes in any form, the Democrats are toast.

    And come on. While we don’t know if Obama favors this or not, it’s completely the type of proposal that fits within his economic world view. People, of course, have nuance when it comes to specific economic issues, and he may indeed be opposed to raising the Medicare age. But it’s certainly plausible that this is the type of proposal he would support. I don’t really see how anyone who follows his economic policy statements can dismiss this out of hand.

  174. 174
    Dr. Squid says:

    @Ronc99: Thx, but that was lifted from someone else, so I can’t accept a prize of one internet.

    I do support laughing at prewhiners jumping to conclusions farther than Bob Beamon in Mexico City.

  175. 175
    ruemara says:

    Except for the fact that this has not happened. You’re not getting flamed for criticism, it’s for speculation. I don’t mind saying that this is a speculative thing and we should keep pressure on Congress (because for all the fucking back and forth in this thread, all the President does is sign things) but you’re wanking about the President, which feeds into the 2 stupidest tropes of the left: President is sole arbiter of domestic policies and clueless panic is the same as clear action. Now get off the damned cross, straighten up and think before you post.

  176. 176
    Loviatar says:

    @mclaren & Obots

    Lets play a game, lets call it “Worst Case Scenario if you are Wrong”

    mclaren
    What is the Worst Case Scenario if you are Wrong and Obama is not considering raising the eligibility age for Medicare?

    .

    Obots
    What is the Worst Case Scenario if you are Wrong and Obama is considering raising the eligibility age for Medicare?
    .
    .
    ————–
    .
    .
    I’d be more worried if I was an Obot as the downside to your position is much worse than the downside to mclaren’s position.

  177. 177
    Keith G says:

    Thank god for this thread. Though I spent far too long reading it, pre-work belly laughs are good for the soul.

    McClaren is a blue chip puppet master. I do not know how much of his own exhortations he/she believes, but the delivery system amounts to bravura performance.

    And when a respondent bites down and swallows the hook….priceless.

  178. 178
    cat48 says:

    Raising the Medicare age comes from the Right. Two weeks ago Mitch McConnell responded to the WSJ when they asked him what he might ask for in a Grand Bargain. He also mentioned the Chained CPI for Social Security. Also, the Beltway started the 37% top rate b/c they said Obama couldn’t demand increased rates & not compromise a point or two. They feel he can’t jam Boehner b/c he wants to do Immigration next year & Boehner might jam Obama on Immigration.

    These items don’t have to be “floated” by anyone because there are few options to “reform entitlements” anymore b/c all the easy fixes have already been done. Most Beltway types know all the different “fixes”.

  179. 179
    Todd says:

    I keep picturing McLaren rocking a Mumia tshirt, a knitted hacky sack, a skullet and one of those knit Jamaican-style hats, while spouting sepulchural tones like that fucktard Tom Hayden.

  180. 180
    Keith G says:

    @cat48:

    Raising the Medicare age comes from the Right.

    …and from DLC Democrats who seem to be represented quite well in this executive branch.

    I just listened to the podcast of last night’s TRMS hosted by Ezra Klein. A few things came to mind that many here did not realize (either accidently or out of willful obtuseness).

    1) At the top, here, Cole was not criticizing Klein, Cole was criticizing the idea that others have (reported by Ezra) that raising Medicare eligibility is worth consideration.

    2) Like clockwork, a number here began doing what Cole did not: Chastising Klein for reporting on information that is truly out there being talked about by others. And worse, some of that number jumped right into making personal attacks/insults to Klein as a way to cement the soundness of their point of view. As in:

    Even Ezra pulls stuff out of his ass once in a while occasionally often.

    or

    Looks like Ezra needs to get out of the Beltway and get an honest job to refresh his mind about what most Americans have to deal with.
    ___
    That or a good pistol-whipping.

    It might be a good idea to go to Maddowblog or iTunes and view Klein’s actual work.

  181. 181
    El Cid says:

    I think that, apart from all the real effects upon people it may have, raising the Medicare eligibility would likely be quite politically costly for Democrats.

    I know that if I were a Republican I would run a campaign against my Democratic opponents as having taken away Medicare from all you 65 year olds in my district / state.

    Again, the discussion of Medicare eligibility age changing is only based on insider reporting and gossip, so I don’t know what is actually happening.

  182. 182
    Jeremy says:

    @Keith G: Well first of all the idea to raise medicare eligibility did not come from the executive branch. It was a republican idea and even Greg sargent said that aides in the whitehouse and for Democratic Senators said they are against that proposal. Klein never said the whitehouse or Dems he just said people from Washington which means he is talking to people in the village.

    People need to calm down and stop screaming betrayal when there is none.

  183. 183
    El Cid says:

    @Jeremy: That said, I think that blogs, and particularly blogs laced with unseriousness and silliness and snark like this, are precisely the sort of place where people should yell and scream stuff impulsively, versus letting things just brew in their heads or letting a lot of unaired, unreflected upon thoughts erupt in more sober environments.

    In other words, if you can’t do such things in a ‘place’ like this, where else can you?

  184. 184
    General Stuck says:

    2) Like clockwork, a number here began doing what Cole did not: Chastising Klein for reporting on information that is truly out there being talked about by others

    I always say, we don’t have near enough threads on Bigfoot nor alien abduction around here. Information is twuly out there (way out there) and people talk about this shit, so why don’t we?

    The twoof is out there !!

  185. 185
    Jeremy says:

    @H: Well what neoliberal policies came out over the past years from democrats ? Because I didn’t see de-regulation of banks, I didn’t see gutting benefits of health care programs. I recall Obama improving benefits to medicare, expanding medicaid, passing new regulations, and a host of other things. And the economic view the president has is not a neo-liberal one. Just because he is not some far lefty does not make him some sell out. He believes in investments in infrastructure and programs, controlling costs of healthcare, higher taxes on the wealthy, and control of the debt. I don’t see how that makes him neo liberal.

  186. 186
    Jeremy says:

    @El Cid: Yeah I get what you are saying. But it really is stupid when people just make up stuff just so they can get people upset and draw people in who never liked Obama before he became president and scream betrayal when there is none. I also don’t like the mis-truths of Obama’s record while many here give Bill Clinton a pass on his record. A guy who was really a DLC’er not Obama. Actually Obama has been cleaning up his messes along with Bush.

    The president is not perfect but he has been way better than the last two Democratic presidents Carter, and Clinton. There records don’t even compare to Obama.

  187. 187
    Jeremy says:

    @mclaren: Yeah but you left out where the president ripped the proposal to shreds multiple times and even had a major speech inviting Paul Ryan and the Republicans and tearing into the Ryan plan and Ryan budget. Him saying it was a legitimate proposal means nothing because he was being respectful but he later described the proposal as not workable and continued to denounce it from that point.

  188. 188
    different-church-lady says:

    @mclaren:

    General Crackpot Fake Name

    Two questions:

    1) On your birth certificate, it says merely “maclaren”, all lower case?

    2) Have you considered decaf?

  189. 189
    SW says:

    No way the guy I just voted for is this mind numbingly stupid.

  190. 190
    Keith G says:

    @Jeremy: Certainly folks should calm down and still be vigilant. Some politicians may be noble, but the process is not. I am glad that folks like Klein are out there to communicate what is being “talked about” so we may adequately communicate what we expect to those who run our government.

  191. 191
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    I call bullshit. Klein nor Krugman are simply discussing the fact that others are talking about raising the retirement age

    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.

    They are drawing or intimating a conclusion based on gossip at best, or simply made up , at worst. This is the same way the right wing blog echo chamber churns up outrage from nothing. With each step along the way, tacking on some other urban myth about what is “clear”.

    Gossip is fine and dandy, but just call it what it is, or someone else will.

  192. 192
    Rex Everything says:

    Mnemosyne and General Electric, god damn, you guys suck so fuckin’ bad. Obama could’ve and should’ve let the tax cuts expire 2 years ago and has repeatedly offered to put Medicare on the chopping block—this is a simple matter of record. To pretend Klein’s rumor doesn’t fit a pattern and isn’t cause for genuine concern is to bury your head in the sand.

  193. 193
    Rex Everything says:

    @Loviatar: Good point.

    What I can’t understand is the Obot vibe of “why worry about this gossip? It’s not as if POTUS has ever done anything remotely resembling this in the past…” as they run like Charlie Brown to kick the football.

  194. 194
    General Stuck says:

    @Rex Everything:

    So it’s a rumor, you wearin’ those funny clown shoes?

  195. 195
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: Obama said clearly two years ago that the thing to do was have two votes, one on the upper-income cuts, one on the rest. The reason it didn’t happen was that Senate Democrats, including Boxer and Feingold, begged for it not to happen, for fear that it would cost them their reelection. There’s no reasonable way to say that how it played out was Obama’s doing, much less his preference.

  196. 196
    Brachiator says:

    @mclaren:

    And so the individual mandate also prices more and more people out of health care.

    Funny. This has not been the case in Massachusetts.

    Source: “Obama Embraces Chump Economics,” the American Institute for Progressive Economics.

    Your source is a bunch of chumps. The best idea that these stuck-in-the-past fools can come up with is “just do what FDR did in the 1930s.”They might just as well have said, “Just do what Caesar did, bread and circuses.”

    @Loviatar:

    Lets play a game, lets call it “Worst Case Scenario if you are Wrong”

    Let’s play a better game. React to actual proposals, not to speculation and squirrelly punditry.

  197. 197
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    To pretend Klein’s rumor doesn’t fit a pattern…

    It fits a pattern of rumor, yeah.

  198. 198
    Dr. Squid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Don’t you know, it’s always Obummer’s fault? The tea leaves gave me the Received Wisdom of the True Progressives.

  199. 199
    Rex Everything says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Right. That’s a pattern of behavior that the present rumor fits perfectly.

  200. 200
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady: Really, is it mere rumor that the Bush tax cuts are still in effect four years into Obama’s presidency, or that Obama offered to cut Medicare in 2011?

    Is this a rumor, for Christ’s sake? http://presspass.nbcnews.com/_.....dward?lite

    Idiots.

  201. 201
    Ben Franklin says:

    Mr Hague told the BBC there was “enough evidence to know that they need a warning”.

    The foreign secretary did not give details, as he said the evidence had come from “intelligence sources”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl.....WEET430213

    Here we go again…..intelligence sources…….swallowing the Flounder whole, twice in a decade.

  202. 202
    Brachiator says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Mnemosyne and General Electric, god damn, you guys suck so fuckin’ bad. Obama could’ve and should’ve let the tax cuts expire 2 years ago and has repeatedly offered to put Medicare on the chopping block—-this is a simple matter of record.

    What Obama “could have and should have” done is a matter of interpretation, not a matter of record.

    Reading speculation tea leaves is a waste of time. And the dregs are so, so bitter.

  203. 203
    Rex Everything says:

    @Brachiator:

    Let’s play a better game. React to actual proposals, not to speculation and squirrelly punditry.

    Mclaren listed a record of actual proposals and your side’s response was “Hey, you forgot his Kenyan birth certificate.”

    In other words, you’ll conflate the dry factual record with a lunatic fringe fantasy if it suits your argument.

    You should be Republicans.

  204. 204
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Purple Dogs

  205. 205
    Rex Everything says:

    @Brachiator:

    And the dregs are so, so bitter.

    You should know.

    Again, is this “a matter of speculation,” not of record? http://presspass.nbcnews.com/_.....dward?lite

  206. 206
    Rex Everything says:

    If we’re done here, I’d just like to point out one thing.

    The Obots’ current line of reasoning is that even criticism of Obama’s past record is a matter of interpretation, of “reading tea leaves.”

    OK, not only would this formula pretty much absolve Obama from any possible criticism, it would invalidate any criticism of any president, ever. How can we possibly know what Reagan “could have and should have done” in the case of Iran-Contra? How can our reckless speculations accurately second-guess Bush’s WMD intelligence circa 2002? We don’t know what these men’s real choices and real pressures were, and we need to stop trying to read the tea leaves dammit!

  207. 207
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything: Oh, yeah, my mistake: it’s a rumor that fits a pattern of a draft of something that didn’t actually happen in the end.

  208. 208
    Brachiator says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Mclaren listed a record of actual proposals and your side’s response was “Hey, you forgot his Kenyan birth certificate.”

    Mclaren offered little more than jibber jabber. His ramblings about health care and the individual mandate are refuted by the reality of the Massachusetts health care plan outcomes.

    YOU specifically tried a lame fake out to suggest that what you believe Obama should have and could have done about the Bush tax cuts somehow represents the official record. It does not.

    Now, you can write or call the White House and your reps about what you think should be done. And you can continue to wallow in your premature disappointment.

    But anything else you got in your crystal ball is not worth worrying about.

    ETA: your discussion of Obama’s past record is flawed and inaccurate, in addition to being a crappy forecasting device. Nate Silver you ain’t.

  209. 209
    huckster says:

    I guess the concept of talking about possibly doing something, and actually doing it are two completely different things is somehow impossible for some people to reconcile.

    raising the eligibility for medicare is bad policy, if the President includes this in any deal AGREED to, and signed into law it will be bad for America, and bad for Democrats. I have to trust that a man astute enough to be re-elected in this economy understands this as well.

  210. 210
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    Now, you can write or call the White House and your reps about what you think should be done.

    What, are you serious? It’s far more important a handful of anonymous strangers on the internet come around to his point of view than what actual legislation does or does not get passed.

    @huckster:

    I guess the concept of talking about possibly doing something, and actually doing it are two completely different things is somehow impossible for some people to reconcile.

    Oh it appears to be far worse than that: an understanding of the concept of “if”, in and of itself, seems to be beyond grasp.

  211. 211
    Loviatar says:

    @Rex Everything:

    You should be Republicans.

    .

    They are Republicans. As I wrote on Betty Cracker’s All Manner of Lesser Imps and Demons post if George W. Bush was slightly less incompetent, they would have been campaigning their ass off for Romney this year. They’re not really Democrats; they’re opportunist.

    I truly believe with the insanity of the current Republican party and the influx of former Republicans to the Democratic party we no longer have traditional (Civil Rights Act of 1964)Democratic (left/center left) and Republican (right / center right) parties, instead we have a Democratic (right / center right) party and a Republican (radical) party.

  212. 212
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Brachiator: Point of Order:

    Isn’t mclaren female?

    (That’s my, admittedly possibly faulty, recollection.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  213. 213
    Avedon says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: You’re talking about adding an expensive administrative nightmare to the deal.

    Look, it’s just cheaper to give it to everyone. Saves a fortune.

  214. 214
    Rex Everything says:

    @Brachiator:

    YOU specifically tried a lame fake out to suggest that what you believe Obama should have and could have done about the Bush tax cuts

    —i.e., let them expire—

    somehow represents the official record. It does not.

    Christ on a crutch, what is wrong with you people? It is the simplest possible matter of fact & record that Obama did NOT let the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010.

    And I love how you guys won’t touch this with a 10-foot pole.

  215. 215
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady:

    it’s a rumor that fits a pattern of a draft of something that didn’t actually happen in the end.

    We’re far from the end. Meanwhile I find it interesting that your whole case against expressing concern for the social safety net rests on the fact that it has not YET been destroyed. Maybe after Medicare’s finally been drowned in a bathtub it will be OK for Paul Krugman and John Cole to talk about it?

  216. 216

    Christ on a crutch, what is wrong with you people? It is the simplest possible matter of fact & record that Obama did NOT let the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010.f

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