Oct 25, 2013

Democrats And Republicans Support Positions At Odds With Their Bases

     From Ronald Brownstein writing for the National Journal:
One reason a serious budget negotiation seems unlikely this fall is that any meaningful assault on the federal deficit would require each party to confront the contradictions between its fiscal agenda and its electoral coalition. ...
The GOP presidential nominee has carried most white seniors in four consecutive presidential elections, and by greater margins each time....
These older whites deeply resist any changes in Social Security and Medicare, which most consider insurance they have paid for, not a government benefit ...
But the demands from GOP leaders to squeeze middle-class entitlements such as Medicare in any budget deal still collide with the preferences of both older and blue-collar whites ...
Democrats face the opposite dilemma. For decades, they have watched expanding entitlements tilt federal spending toward the elderly. In 1960, children and seniors each consumed around one-fifth of federal domestic spending, the Urban Institute calculates. Today, children receive less than one-third as much as seniors, a trend reinforced by the sequester ...
Entering negotiations, many Democrats have made opposition to entitlement cuts a litmus test. But with the senior population projected to double through 2040, rejecting all entitlement reductions ensures both more pressure on discretionary investments like education that help young people and unsustainable tax burdens on future workers. That leaves Democrats confronting their own contradiction: They are now favoring programs that benefit predominantly white seniors who lopsidedly vote against them over policies that benefit the heavily diverse young people who strongly support them. Even a near-term trade of trimming entitlements to restore sequester-starved domestic investment could make sense for Democrats.


Anonymous said...

****Fraudster Watch****

Washington Post and other outlets are reporting that Reid/Ryan say there will be no "grand bargain". Talks now shifting to a narrower "replace the sequester".

Don't you see what's going on here folks? Any grand bargain would require increased revenue, but that's not happening so the GB is out. Meanwhile, the sequester replacement may not require the revenue, or if it does, some token amount just to make it look good. But the same S.S. cuts as the GB would still apply. Anotherwords, S.S. cuts are simply traded for other cuts which are damaging the economy.

I hold Obama 100% responsible should S.S. cuts happen. His massive cave was what led to the sequester in the first place. And he actually threatened to VETO any attempt to repeal it.

While an argument can be made that the general fund partly subsidizes Medicare, no such argument can be made wrt S.S. which is 100% funded by employer/employee.

There is no justification for cutting Social Security. Should cuts happen, even while the program has a $2.8T surplus, the federal gov't would be committing grand larceny.

Anonymous said...

Not sure of the race of any poster. But i'm black. It's my belief voting for a republican only hurts the poor,and yes many,whether they know it or not, white people are POOR.

This country is moving forward regardless whether old,superior thinking,white voters think so or not. Of course my comments relate to a type of republican white voter per the article.

Anonymous said...

@10:42 - you had me at "Anotherwords".

Anonymous said...

So sorry,

"In other words"

Don Levit said...

Anonymous wrote that SS is 100% funded by employer and employee.
That is correct.
But what happens with those funds?
They are loaned to the Treasury to pay for other expenses.
The general fund doesn't subsidize Social Security. Social Security subsidizes the general fund.
To suggest the general fund has no impact on Social Security is blatantly incorrect.
To imply the surplus is funded is blatantly incorrect.
Don Levit