What I find most ironic about President Obama’s budget is that in trying to find “common ground”, he became the caricature Republicans created about him. Throughout most of Obama’s first term Republicans attacked him based on what were two false premises.
The first was that Obama raised taxes on the middle class. Republicans would sometimes point to the individual mandate or minor tax changes to justify this broad claim but it was not really true until now.
The other much bigger attack was that Obama was out to hurt seniors. This was the core of the 2010 GOP campaign. They tried to spin cost reductions in Medicare as actual cuts to Medicare benefits. Republicans even falsely claimed Obamacare had “death panels” or was some attempt to pull the plug on grandma.
After years of asking regular Democrats to help refute what were baseless attacks, Obama has gone out of his way to be some kind of Republican self-fulfilling prophecy.
Obama might not have previously violated his major campaign promise to never raise taxes on the middle class before, but he is determined to now. Chained-CPI, which is the heart of his new budget, is a regressive middle class tax increase.
The Affordable Care Act was not really a cut to Medicare benefits, but the Obama budget definitely is. It will increase cost-sharing and deductibles. Many seniors will end up pay noticeably more. The large cuts to Social Security benefits would also make seniors worse off. The Obama budget is heavily focused on taking from seniors.
Through some process of “serious people” magic, actually endorsing the very unpopular positions Republicans falsely attacked Obama with is supposed to make compromise more likely.
Obama has become the Democrat Republicans always wanted to run against.
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