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Hullabaloo


Sunday, November 25, 2012

 
Chump change exchange update

by digby

Just as Saxby Chambliss made news yesterday for saying something he said a year ago, today Lindsay Graham is getting big headlines for saying that he'd be willing to violate Grover's pledge if the Dems would cut the living hell out of Social SWecurity and medicare. (Well, I'm paraphrasing a bit there...) But this is nothing new for Graham either. You remember this from four months ago, right?

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday urged Mitt Romney to embrace revenues as part of a plan to stave off the automatic spending cuts set to take effect next year.

“If he gave his blessing, it would be easier for Republicans,” Graham said of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

In a discussion with reporters, Graham said his Republican colleagues are torn over whether to agree to consider revenues – such as tax loopholes and fees for government services – as part of a deal to avert the spending cuts, called sequestration.

Graham's position today is no different:

"I will violate the pledge for the good of the country -- only if Democrats will do entitlement reform," Graham said ABC's "This Week," discussing a possible bipartisan compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff. "I will not raise tax rates to do it. I would cap deductions… I think Grover is wrong when it comes to capping deductions and buying down the debt."

This has been the set-up for months. And the President has already basically agreed to it by emphasizing his "balanced approach" and saying that he's willing to betray his own "special interests" (which translates to old and sick people) in order to get a deal as long as the rich "pay a little bit more." His promise of 2-1 spending to revenue locks in the idea that the wealthy will be contributing chump change while average people will feel that pain.It's only a matter of the details at this point.

Now, I suppose the Senate can reach an agreement on this and the House Republicans will still balk. We haven't heard a lot from them on the Grover back stab yet. But if Boehner can persuade enough of his crazies this time, the real pressure will fall on the Democratic caucus. And the pressure will be severe.

If you have a Democratic House member it isn't too early to call and let him or her know that you don't want cuts to benefits (and that you are well informed and will know if that's what the deal entails.) The president is activating OFA on behalf of this "balanced approach" nonsense as David writes below. They will need to hear from their own constituents.

Those of us who've been following this Grand Bargain saga for the past four years have known this trainwreck was coming. It's still possible that the worst of it can be averted, at least for a while. It's worth a phone call.

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