As recently as two months ago, the Republican Party has been declaring that Obama needs to show he’s “serious” about deficit reduction by embracing “entitlement reform.” When pressed for what sort of ideas they’d need to see Obama embrace, two items have continued to make repeated appearances: so-called “Chained-CPI” for Social Security and means-testing for Medicare. While Obama has resisted pushing such “reforms” outright, to the approval of progressive Democrats, they have been the subject of his negotiations with Speaker Boehner as far back as the debt ceiling talks in 2011.
Now, less than six months after winning reelection on a platform of protecting such programs while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, Obama has actually put such proposals on paper as a real budget offer to Republicans. And I think we all knew what was going to come next…
Remember those warnings about how instead of welcoming President Obama’s adoption of Chained CPI, Republicans would continue to deny him a budget deal and attack him for proposing to cut Social Security?
Well Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) — who also happens to be chairman of the House GOP’s re-election committee — just showed how it’s done, saying Obama’s budget “lays out a shocking attack on seniors.”
“I’ll tell you when you’re going after seniors the way he’s already done on Obamacare, taken $700 billion out of Medicare to put into Obamacare and now coming back at seniors again, I think you’re crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine certainly and around the country,” he said on CNN Wednesday afternoon.
Needless to say, if the NRCC chairman is fronting this line of attack, we’ll probably see it pop up contested districts around the country next year.
So that’s the sum total of this latest effort of “bipartisanship”: A budget that will go nowhere and do nothing but serve as a club that the GOP will relish in taking to the heads of Democrats in next year’s midterms, while only further disheartening progressive Democrats who believed this past election a vindication of their message to the American people. Nice job breaking it, hero.