Monday, April 11, 2011

Obama to Outline Deficit Reduction Plan April 13

Updated April 12: Obama will speak April 13 at George Washington U at 1:30 pm eastern time. There will be a live stream here.  It will be a speech that no one likes because democrats don't want to cut anything and republicans want to cut everything.

Updated April 12: See the 2011 budget details here.
On Meet the Press, David Plouffe announced Obama would outline a plan to reduce the deficit. The plan will look at Medicare and Medicaid, but Obama's plan won't be as brutal as Paul Ryan's extreme budget proposal, which mostly casts "job creators" as the gods of the United States who need to be worshipped. Don't get me wrong. It's critical this nation reduces its debt, otherwise it will go bust. However, fairness must ensue. We have to make sure corporations and the wealthiest are paying their fair share.
President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress are shifting from short-term budget concerns to debates over the nation's long-term economic future, and everything — from Medicare and Medicaid cuts to tax hikes for the wealthy — is on the table. AP
In a sleight of hand, Ryan's budget repeals the healthcare act but assumes all of the savings of the healthcare act. From the New Yorker:
SUROWIECKI: But one of the things that’s hypocritical, or complicated about Ryan’s budget is that Ryan’s budget will repeal the Affordable Care Act—so it will repeal ObamaCare, basically. Which means that, you know, if you have a preëxisting condition, you’re not going to be able to get insurance, beginning in 2014, as you will under current law. But, at the same time as he repeals ObamaCare, he keeps in place, or he assumes in place, the cost reductions that the Affordable Care Act was essentially going to enact. So in effect, he’s kind of assuming that he gets all the cost reductions that the Affordable Care Act was going to create via these mechanisms that Ryan talked about, but he basically wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. There’s a lot of this kind of slight of hand, but I think you’re right Dorothy, that the narrative, this kind of very clear-headed, “we’re making the tough choices” narrative, is probably politically beneficial.

The debt ceiling absolutely has to be raised because that's what kind of mess we're in, but that doesn't mean we will be relieved of a political battle. Both sides will have to fluff their feathers and pretend, and the GOP is still trying to impress the tea party.