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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Truth or dare (I)

How can we take about compromise when one side isn't willing to budge?

That's the dilemma Barack Obama and the Democrats face with the Republicans all-in strategy on deficit reduction. Listen to this false choice offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“My message to the president is simple. It’s time for Washington to focus on fixing itself. It’s time Washington take the hit, not the taxpayers.”
There's no dispute that Washington is broken. Republicans, in particular, are beholden to those who helped get us into the mess we are digging out of, unregulated industries with lots of money to spend on the taxpayers' dime to finance "too big to fail" recklessness.

It's an affront to even call them "taxpayers" instead of the every day Americans who pay through their paycheck for the promise of Social Security and Medicare down the road, a promise the reckless class is eating away at.

Yes, changes can and should come to the federal safety net programs. Not with a meat cleaver as proposed by Paul Ryan and his band of Wall Street Warriors, but with simple and effective adjustments -- such as extending the payroll tax upper limits so those who make more pay more.

Throughout his term, Obama has struggled to appear accommodating in the hopes of winning a compromise. Too often, like in agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts which drained the treasury, that accommodation has won important gains but at considerable price.

No more. The line between all cuts (none in the bloated military, by the way) and a reasonable package of taxes and program adjustments is stark. And one that cannot be crossed.

If Republicans think destroying the economy (again) is their ticket for electoral success, it's time to call their bluff.

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