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The “reality-based community” meets Fiscal Reality on entitlements

The “reality-based community” meets Fiscal Reality on entitlements

So tell me again, which party is being ripped apart by internal divisions?

For all the talk of Republicans at each other’s throats and the party facing some existential cliff, the Democrats have an even bigger problem:

Fiscal Reality.

The reality is that our current path is not sustainable, and entitlements are eating everyone’s free lunch.

Hence, Obama is signaling he may give a little (just a little) on entitlements, and Nancy Pelosi is mouthing the words as well, Pelosi open to looking at Obama proposal to cut Social Security

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she’ll coinsider Social Security cuts as part of a sweeping deficit-reduction package.

Ahead of a meeting between President Obama and House Democrats, Pelosi said moving to a less generous formula for adjusting Social Security benefits to inflation — if it protects the most vulnerable Social Security beneficiaries — might be preferable to other entitlement cuts Republicans are urging, like raising Medicare’s eligibility age.

Already the alarms are going off, via Greg Sargent, Liberals to Dem leaders: Don’t even think about touching Social Security benefits:

The sharp language from Ellison, Sanders and other liberals shows that Obama and Dem leaders will face a stiff headwind from the left if they stray too far on to “grand bargain” territory. The endgame here, however, remains murky. If Obama and Dem leaders do reach some kind of deal with Republicans in the Senate, some liberals might support it in the end if the President asks them to, just as liberals have previously proven willing to give away core priorities to advance his agenda. Or a deal might simply pass without liberals. Wherever this is headed, for progressives who want to make their opposition to any “grand bargain” benefits cuts known, the time is now.

The left-wing of the Democratic Party loves to refer to itself as the “reality-based community.”  In fact, it is the fantasy-based community, living in a fiscal la la land.

La la land is about to meet Fiscal Reality.  If Obama and Democratic leaders give in to reality, it will demoralize and infuriate the Democratic Party base even more than the Obama tax increase of 2012-2103 did the same to Republicans. 

The image of a unified Democratic Party is erroneous. 

The only thing that holds Democrats together is loyalty to Obama.  I wonder if that will be enough as he builds his own party apparatus via OFA and rides off into the sunset over Hole 18.


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“The reality is that our current path is not sustainable, and entitlements are eating everyone’s free lunch.”

…Thanks to some large charitable contributions made last year, plus some efforts to increase deductions, my fed tax bill for 2012 is the lowest it’s been in many years. Still, when I translate my bill into REALITY, my payment works out to paying for several “free” OBOZOPHONES for slugs, a large part of the government-subsidized mortgage payments made to my deadbeat neighbors (who have been foreclosed upon TWICE but now have house #3), plus a couple of EBT cards that let freeloaders pay for their strip-club visits and porn. If I were a d-cRAT socialist, I’d just CHEAT on my taxes like tiny tim geithner, rangel and the millions of others do, or engage in TAX EVASION like hanoi-john kerry. But I’m not, so I pay, and pay and pay – and regret every penny of the waste that my money supports.

Conservative Beaner | March 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm

When you’re choomin, you don’t have to face reality.

When you have unlimited income potential after leaving office, you don’t have to face reality.

When a party has full support of free loaders, they don’t have to face reality.

Unfortunately, we the peons face reality everyday.

The issue is not solvency of Social Security, which has a fixed payout. The issue is progressive inflation of medical services and pharmaceuticals, which Obamacare through ignorance of causes will serve to exacerbate.

This discussion is following a path very similar to the one for gun control. It is designed to treat symptoms rather than address causes, which in both cases is redistributive and retributive change through involuntary and fraudulent exploitation.

As a group, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will swamp the US budget in the not too distant future, however, the primary player in this group is Medicare (at least, at the moment). Interestingly, the large differences in health care spending between the US and all it’s economic competitors occur in the the over-65s. The democrats are quick to brag that Medicare is the most efficient health insurance in the US, because of it’s low administrative costs. It would be wise to perform a very rigorous audit of medicare spending before we start changing anything. If history is any guide, trying to reform a corrupt system will only result in the fraudsters changing tactics to continue to milk the system.

Insufficiently Sensitive | March 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm

The only thing that holds Democrats together is loyalty to Obama. I wonder if that will be enough as he builds his own party apparatus via OFA…

The latest print Economist has a 3-page hagiography of the late Hugo Chavez, cheering for his cult of personality as ‘successful politics’, barely questioning his corruption of a democracy into caudillocracy through the ballot box. It tells us that “his supreme political achievement was that many ordinary Venezuelans credited him with the handouts and did not blame him for the bungling”.

It seems likely that Obama is aiming for exactly the same “supreme political achievement” through OFA.

With the entire federal government rife with fraud, waste and abuse that amounts to about a third of the budget, why don’t politicians ever look at this?

I’m leaning to a position of advocating an open season on politicians without a bag limit. The herd in DC needs to be thinned one way or another.

If only there could be a way of ejecting them from our society…

    Henry Hawkins in reply to GrumpyOne. | March 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “With the entire federal government rife with fraud, waste and abuse that amounts to about a third of the budget, why don’t politicians ever look at this?”

    Whenever taxpayer money changes hands, a politician – or two, or twenty – benefits personally. A senator or representative wins that $1.3 million grant for a park or airport or program or whatever for his or her home district, wins votes in the process, and too often wins kickbacks for their personal bank account or campaign coffer. It is no different by function than the mob skimming Vegas gambling receipts. We are expecting essential criminals to police themselves.

Step 1: Reach grand bargain with Republicans to deal with entitlement programs and get tax increases in the bargain.

Step 2: Campaign that the Republicans want to cut off grandpa’s breathing tube and throw grandma on the street.

Step 3: Win 2014 midterm elections.

Step 4: Repeal cuts to entitlement programs, promising an end to Republican coldhearted attitude towards Seniors.

Reality? Bernanke can always buy more reality.

(egd sees the plan clearly.)

quiksilverz24 | March 15, 2013 at 10:29 am

I’ve been working since I was 14, which is well over half my life. Money has forcefully been taken from my paycheck with the promise of extra retirement funds. Now it’s dictated at what age I can collect, along with how much. I’m sorry, that’s MY MONEY!! It’s not a welfare entitlement, again, it’s MY MONEY!!

Bush had the right idea. It should be privatized for people my age. Market crash, oh well. I buy shares at a lower price, and with the current market, I sell some and move the funds into other investments. And don’t give me the argument that not everyone is smart enough to do this. Why should I be forced to play a game that supports the lowest common denominator? Typical liberal fairness ideology.

Sigh, once again the whole point is missed, reality is that which liberals wish to over turn or repudiate. Attempting to view Obama’s and Liberal Democrat’s actions through the prism of Conservatism or Libertarianism is a futile task. Stop doing it and your head will cease to hurt.

Obama like Keynes is/was a Socialist, hence all their actions must be viewed through their prism. Liberals believe wealth can be made via the printing press and taking advantage of people’s inherent greed can ceaselessly motivate them to produce. Keynes was quite frank on this point.

“If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with bank-notes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal-mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is.”

In the old Soviet Union there was a cynical joke, you (government) pretend to pay us and we pretend to work. This is why Socialism will always fail, because after a while the workers realize they are but slaves because the money they are paid is worthless. When the unproductive vastly outnumber the productive, being fully supported by the productive, the productive wake up to their slavery. At that point quantity and quality crash and everyone goes hungry except for the elites who run the failed enterprise, they of course steal what’s remaining at the point of a gun. This is exactly what Hugo Chavez did to Venezuela and this is what Obama wants to do as well.

When you stop attempting to rationalize their Socialist actions through your Reality Based prism, then you can refute their fallacy. Stop explaining their position from your view point, and remove the whole concept of rationality and just present the actions sans explanation. Once you do this, the ordinary person when confronted with a spendthift government spending their money nonsensically without their permission will cease to be neutral or apathetic on the matter. The public will react once they realize the free lunch they were offered comes with a huge bill the following day. The poor already are being presented with the bill via food and energy inflation, it’s our job to tell them where the bill came from. Up to this point we are doing a crappy job of educating them.