According to the New York Times1 and theWashington Post2, President Obama has offered Republicans a budget deficit deal that would lower the deficit with trillions in cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — programs that had previously been off the table.
This is disastrously wrong.
Republican pundit David Frum had it right when he said, "The debt ceiling negotiations have amounted to a succession of retreats and concessions by President Obama."3
We can't be silent and allow President Obama to cave to Republicans, and put some of the most important and successful programs in our country on the chopping block.
House Democrats and most Democratic Senators have already said they will not go along. It is not too late.
The debt limit negotiations don't have to play out this way. There's absolutely no reason why negotiations about the federal deficit had to take place in the context of looming financial catastrophe if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
By insisting that the debt ceiling vote be tied to long-term deficit reduction, the Republicans simply took the financial health of this country hostage. And rather than repudiating that strategy or calling the Republicans out for it, President Obama responded as though he could win the Republicans over through appeasement.
We are now seeing the results of this negotiating failure. And the best thing we can do right now is speak out to prevent President Obama from making a catastrophic mistake.
The simple fact of the matter is that Republicans are willing to tank the economy for their perceived electoral benefit. And they're willing to drive our economy into another recession rather than raise taxes on the Koch brothers. If anything we should be expanding these programs, not cutting them during this time of extreme economic duress.
President Obama needs to stop trying to play the reasonable negotiator when the group he's negotiating with does not have the best interests of the country in mind. If the New York Times story is true, President Obama will enable Republicans to push through a radical agenda to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — a feat that even George W. Bush couldn't pass despite a Republican Congress.
President Obama needs to stand up for something other than "the spirit of bipartisan compromise" with the most extreme and irresponsible elements of the Republican Party. Tell President Obama he needs to draw a line in the sand, for his own sake and for the good of the country.
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
1 "Obama to Push for Wider Deal With G.O.P. on Deficit Cuts," Carl Hulse and Mark Landler, New York Times, July 6, 2011.
2 "In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts," Lori Montgomery, Washington Post, July 6, 2011
3 "Obama plays nice, GOP turns tough," David Frum, CNN, July 5, 2011.