The Republicans are finally now getting around to what I believe was really their reason for creating the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis in the first place. I have said for several days now that the pillars of the Democratic Party platform, Social Security benefits along with Medicaid, and Medicare would ultimately be sacrificed for the pretense of a crisis saving deal. This has been the lifetime goal of Right Wing loon Peter G. Peterson who has spent a half billion dollars of his own money to get America to believe Social Security was going broke and needed to be placed in his and the rest of Wall Streets care instead.
If you want to fix Social Security, which would be solvent for another 25 years if we did nothing, just remove the cap on income so that all income not just that up to $120,000.00 would taxable for Social Security and it would be solvent for a minimum of the next 75 years. But Peterson has done what Right Wingers do best, created an astro-turf grass roots group, Fix the Debt, to convince America that earned benefits are the cause of a massive deficit crisis that stunts the nations economic growth.
Peterson bases his deficit con job on a report prepared in 2010 by two economists Reinhart and Rogoff who concluded in this report that deficits caused a severe lack of economic growth in countries. This report has influenced economic policies the world over causing untold economic hardship for average citizens, including the US, due to the austerity measures put in place as a result of these findings.
Unfortunately, we have learned since then that Reinhart and Rogoff made mistakes in their research, either intentionally or incompetently, that left out of the data all nations that had high debt ratios to GDP but had average economic growth rates. When you include the omitted data there is essentially no correlation between debt and growth rate and some indication that the very austerity policies put in place may cause significant growth in the debt rate, meaning Peterson's ideas are significant contributors to the deficit crisis he has demagogued in the first place.
Starting with Paul Ryan's op-ed in the New York Times, Ryan is another protégé of Peterson's by the way as are Reinhart and Rogoff, some Republicans have begun to push the idea if they agree to reopen government and raise the debt ceiling Obama needs to give then earned benefit cuts and more corporate and individual tax cuts for richest Americans. Obama would likely be more than willing to engage in this annual ritual sacrifice of the middle class and poor under Peterson's phony pretense of we all need shared sacrifice that is part of the Fix the Debt mantra, even though the wealthy haven't sacrificed one single thing.
This morning ritual sacrifice of the middle class, the poor, and the elderly appeared to be the direction the negotiations behind the scenes were going. Of course the main stream media lauds this way out of the debt ceiling crisis and getting government reopened. It seems class warfare is only when the middle class demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, it is country saving sacrifice when our nations leaders rip us off to give the rich another tax break.
Social Security has never contributed one dime to the deficit. The deficit that exists is falling rapidly and is not a crisis and was caused by tax cuts for the rich and the welfare for rich corporations called the War on Terror.
What Progressives can learn from the Tea Party is that the threat of a primary makes Congress persons listen. Progressives are the back bone of the Democratic Party. We need to let Democrats know we accept no Grand Bargain sellouts of earned benefits. Earned benefits are not bargaining chips. Any Democrat who votes like a Republican for cuts to earned benefits will have a primary challenger in 2014. No Grand Bargains with Republicans because it is always a grand sell out.