Monday, March 4, 2013
On the surface, it looks like the Republicans have won this battle, as Obama is once again willing to put "entitlements" on the table in an effort to reach a grand compromise on the budget. As Scarborough noted in his op-ed piece, $85 billion is a drop in the bucket when you consider the overall $3.8 trillion budget that was requested for 2013, and the only place it will be really felt is in defense, which needs to be cut anyway, even if it means losing a few jobs in the greater Washington DC metro area. But, it seems our President still thinks he can work with the Republicans even after four years of stonewalling and renewed cries for massive budget cuts.
What I don't get is how Social Security and Medicare even figure into these budget cuts, as they come out of a whole separate tax system, FICA, not income tax, and haven't figured into the manufactured "debt crisis." In fact, the federal government has been borrowing against Social Security to meet its revenue shortfalls over the past 12 years. However, Obama got the brilliant idea to cut FICA in an effort to get businesses to hire, and so now the federal government is whittling away at SS and Medicare from both ends.
It doesn't take a Ph.D in Economics to figure out this is a recipe for disaster. Obama had the high ground in this battle, but has once again conceded to the Republicans over short term budget deals that do nothing to improve the economy, but only feed into their overall attempt to chip away at social programs, while they continue to defend the bloated defense budget, homeland security and other security-related budget items that take up to 40% of the overall budget.