Covered with Obama Cooties

We all knew this was coming, but it still invites screaming and broken crockery.

The GOP has been demanding that we cut entitlements, the President proposes chained CPI in his budget, and the head of the NRCC, Greg Walden of Oregon, calls the proposal a “shocking attack on seniors.”

Walden is focused on seat numbers in 2014, not budget numbers.  I suggest our Prez do the same.

Quote of the Day

“I recognize I’m not going to get 100 percent.  But what I’m not going to do is to agree to a plan in which we have some revenue that is vague and potentially comes out of the pockets of middle-class families in exchange for some very specific and tough entitlement cuts that would affect seniors or other folks who are vulnerable. That’s not the kind of balanced plan that I think would be good for growth, good for the economy, or good for the American people.”

President Obama

I think we’re heading towards raising rates on the top 2 percent, but not up to the Clinton-era level of 39.6 percent.

Mitt Deceptive on What Seniors Will Pay

Mitt has tried to soften the blow of Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan by saying that the vouchers would be voluntary and that anyone who wants to stay in traditional Medicare could do so.

But a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that about 60% of beneficiaries would pay higher premiums, whether they stay in traditional Medicare or use the voucher.  For those in traditional Medicare, they estimate more that half would pay more.  For the smaller number of seniors in what is now Medicare Advantage, almost 90% would pay more.  To keep their premiums down, seniors would have to give up a lot in benefits.

You don’t have to get deep in the weeds of Romney/Ryan to understand that they want to shift a lot of the costs of Medicare away from the government and onto seniors.  So it’s the worst of both worlds — pay a lot of taxes to Medicare while you’re working, get lousy benefits when you retire.

For more, see “Medicare Vouchers Would Raise Costs for Most Seniors, Study Finds,” Sahil Kapur, Talking Points Memo


“New polling by Reuters/Ipsos indicates that during the past two weeks – since just after the Democratic National Convention – support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over Democratic President Barack Obama to less than 4 points.”

“Analysis:  For Romney, some troubling signs among older voters,” David Morgan, Reuters

More on the 47%

I’m tired of reading stuff trying to justify Mitt and the 47% garbage.  What he said wasn’t just politically stupid, it’s factually stupid.

He said these 47% are in the tank for Obama, no point in trying to reach them.  Really?  How can he not know that a chunk of the people who don’t pay federal income tax are retirees, living on Social Security and their savings?  And how can he not know that the one group he consistently has been leading among is seniors?  So to say that the 47% are synonymous with Obama voters just makes him look an idiot because so many of them are his freaking base.

And I don’t get the leap between not paying (actually I would frame it as not owing) federal income taxes and seeing yourself as a victim, as not taking personal responsibility for yourself.  I don’t see any connection there, it’s just a non sequitur.

Who are these people who don’t owe on April 15?  As I said, a chunk of them are seniors, which means that they used to work and pay federal income taxes.  They also paid in to get their Social Security and their Medicare.  Yes, some of them will take out of the system more than they put in, but some of them will die before they get their investment back.  That’s what an insurance system is.  And what’s Mitt’s solution here to end their “dependency”?  Does he want people in their 80’s and 90’s to rejoin the work force?

Some of them are students.  They are old enough to vote, and maybe flipping burgers to get through school, but not in their prime earning years.  They have decades of paying federal income taxes ahead of them, and the more education they get, the more they will earn and the more they will pay.

Some of them are low-wage earners because they’ve lost better-paying jobs in the Great Recession; because they lack education and skills; because they don’t speak English well; because they choose careers that don’t pay well, but help other people; because they work part-time so that they can write or paint or spend more time with their kids or do volunteer work.  People are low-wage earners for all kinds of reasons.  Some of them have paid federal income taxes in the past and will do so again in the future.

Just because you’re working a low-wage job (or two or three) doesn’t mean you don’t work hard.  Anyone doing honest work is taking personal responsibility for himself or herself.  The GOP has consistently supported earned income tax credits and child care credits to keep low-wage earners out of poverty and off of welfare, to make work worthwhile.   The GOP has declared this tax policy the path to personal responsibility, and now Mitt is denying his own party’s long-standing beliefs.

It is beyond chutzpah for someone earning $20 million a year and paying 13% in federal income taxes (maybe, assuming we believe him) to bitch and moan about those terrible people making $20,000 a year who don’t pay their fair share.

Listening to that tape, I don’t think this guy is just politically dead, I think he’s brain dead.

Is Ryan “Political Malpractice”?

From “Paul Ryan VP pick shakes up Mitt Romney battle plan,” John F. Harris and Mike Allen, Politico:

“Many outside Republican strategists, however, are already fretting that the pick will likely turn out to be political malpractice—turning off independents and older voters, who depend especially on programs that are targeted by Ryan’s budget plan that would cut entitlements.

“For now, Romney’s bold move is a gamble that in its own way is as breathtaking as the ultimately self-defeating one John McCain made four years ago with Sarah Palin.”

I don’t think Palin cost McCain the election.  But I think Ryan may well do that for Mitt — some other veep picks wouldn’t have hurt, and basically would have let Mitt win or lose on his own, but, on balance, Ryan hurts.




Obama Up by Ten in New Pew Poll

The Pew Research Center Poll released today finds President Obama up by 10 over Mitt, 51 to 41%.  It’s registered voters, though, not likely voters, so not as reliable.

Mittens’ favorables continue to be upside down, with 52% having an unfavorable view of him and 37% favorable.  The polling was done before Mitt’s triumphant trip abroad.

Obama is at the favorable number considered the bare minimum to be re-elected — 50%, with 45% unfavorable.

Mitt isn’t succeeding at narrowing the gender gap:  56% of women favor Obama, with 37% for Mitt.

Obama gets voters under 30 (58% to 34%), while Mitt gets those 65 and up (49% to 45%).

Independent voters — you know, the folks who actually decide these things — are almost evenly divided, with 45% for Obama and 43% for Mitt.