One of the interesting features of the current discussions involving raising the debt ceiling is how Obama keeps offering cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of the deal. This does not surprise me because I have repeatedly said that the best chance for the oligarchy to cut these programs that they do not care about is when a Democrat is in office because then the defenders of these programs drop their guard, thinking that the president will defend their interests, not realizing that his primary goal is to serve the oligarchy.
Obama’s supporters seem to think that this is just a clever strategy on Obama’s part, that by linking it to some tax raises for the very rich, it will cause the Republicans to reject the plan, thus making them appear unreasonable. I disagree. Offering something in negotiations that you actually oppose on the assumption that the other side will reject the entire deal is very dangerous because there is always the small chance that they might accept and also because in future negotiations you cannot refuse to consider those proposals if brought forward by the other side.
Matt Taibbi argues persuasively that Obama does not want a progressive deficit deal. He actually does want to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow also has Obama’s number.