The tax deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is just the first part of a multistage drama that is likely to further divide and weaken Democrats.
The second part, now being teed up by the White House and key Senate Democrats, is a scheme for the president to embrace much of the Bowles-Simpson plan — including cuts in Social Security. This is to be unveiled, according to well-placed sources, in the president’s State of the Union address.
The idea is to pre-empt an even more draconian set of budget cuts likely to be proposed by the incoming House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), as a condition of extending the debt ceiling. This is expected to hit in April.
White House strategists believe this can also give Obama “credit” for getting serious about deficit reduction — now more urgent with the nearly $900 billion increase in the deficit via the tax cut deal.
Barack Obama's pathology about being Moses parting the waters is so intense that he's going to sell future retirees down the river in perpetuity just so he can say he played nice with Mitch McConnell. But why should he worry? The financial community will reward him handsomely with a nice fat paycheck and bonus plan for the job it will give him when he leaves office. He'll be only too happy to join the "I got mine and fuck you" crowd, and he'll sleep like a baby knowing that he played nice with the people who matter in this country. The rest of us had better stock up in 9-Lives.