Thursday, September 15, 2011

"There will be no Social Security in the recommendations..."

Social Security and a raise in the Medicare age are off the table. Why? Because the GOP burned the President one too many times:

And even Huffington Post (the worthless Huffington Post, for pity's sake!) agrees:

Jilted by Republican leadership during the deficit-reduction talks that accompanied the debt ceiling debate, the Obama administration is now pulling back an offer to put Social Security reform on the negotiating table.

The president will not include changes to that program in the series of deficit reduction measures that he will offer to the congressional super committee next Monday, administration officials confirm.

This was all caught by Steve Benen first this morning, who follows up with:

And what about the possibility that the president might recommend raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67? Both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal report today that the White House doesn’t intend to recommend this, either. It’s more likely Obama’s plan will call for cuts to providers and/or higher premiums for wealthier recipients.

In other words, President Obama, burned by Republicans who rejected his outreach, apparently intends to keep up the fighting spirit we saw last week with the introduction of the American Jobs Act. If the reports today are accurate, the White House’s debt-reduction plan will be largely in line with what much of the left has wanted him to do all along.

Oddly enough, perhaps the most important progressive victory of the summer came when House Republicans turned Obama’s Grand Bargain offer down. Nevertheless, it appears the president learned a lesson from the ordeal, and isn’t inclined to make the mistake again.

I am not one of the Obama supporters who believes that the President is a Jedi, or a guy who's playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. No, the President is smart. He's the smartest guy in the room, but he's not Yoda (Obi Wan, maybe). He is super intelligent, and this intelligence gives him an ability to react better and more quickly to situations than most other people.

This is a long way of saying yes, he actually believed in a Grand Bargain. He was genuine in his offer. It was not a feint or a double-move, or thinking ten moves ahead. He wanted a deal, and when the GOP rejected that deal, he was able to quickly and smartly change tactics to deal with the situation.

But the strategy remains the same: Get re-elected and leave the country in better shape than you found it.