“Entitlements” are “Mandatories!“ #222 –Robert M. Shelby, 10-18-13. [441 txt wds]

New language in government, from Senator Reid. Today, in Progressive Breakfast, a daily online news-brief summary, he states: “I would like to suggest that maybe the Republicans aren’t too happy with next year’s sequestration. Who does it hurt, non-defense? I get an extra billion dollars this year compared to [last] year. Defense? They lose $23 billion,” Reid said … It is the most successful social program in the history of the world. The program is not about to go broke, so take it easy on Social Security.” He went on to add, “President Obama made a similar commitment during a meeting with the Democratic Senate caucus last week, but added that if the Republican offer also included infrastructure money or investment in early childhood education … it would at least be worth considering … If Republicans want to trim Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, they’d have to give on tax revenue in exchange.” Asked specifically if the deal must be revenue for entitlements, he said: “Yes, and we call it mandatories.”

[Re: http://ourfuture.org/progressivebreakfast/progressive-breakfast-376]

In spite of the ultra-right’s wrongful hatred for our president and government, Obama cannot justly carry the entire load of their opprobrium for the condition of everything in our country, nor for everything that goes on under departmental and agency conduct. One man in the presidency does not a whole government make! He contends with much he cannot well control, and which though he might prefer other actions by his agencies, or actions undertaken that should not have been countenanced, he is ringed by officials who have real powers that he does not delegate nor wholly direct. Much is set by prior law and the momentum of complex machinery already in motion. It is entirely too easy to blame a nominal chief for everything. It will be claimed, not improperly, that the buck stops with him, yet though he meets often with his people and others in the White House, and makes many decisions including on issues of policy-making and execution, he is ringed by people offering influential input both advisory and cautionary.

As for vociferous and heated opposition, Tea Party people are “reactionaries,” not real conservatives. They have obsessive need to exercise political initiative under mixed motivation, part of which has been supplied by persons outside and above their rank & file, for entirely separate motives. Part of Tea Party energy is literally from religious fundamentalism and evangelism carried into politics under false flags instead of the crusaders’ cross. People, I’ve always distinguished between Conservatism and sickly “backwardism,” which is regressive and obstructive. The conservative attitude must not be conflated with so-called conservative programs or agenda. The attitude values caution, circumspection, stringent examination of proposals and avoidance of costly, troublesome, legislative mistakes. Conservatives resist big, quick changes, fearing unforeseen, bad consequences that due diligence in advance should avoid. The conservative viewpoint is a necessary and valuable part of legislative discussion. The American turkey need both wings to fly on the level, no matter what direction it takes. But, [here I quote myself from a blogged comment] “Damn it, both wings’ve got to belong to the bird! You can’t have a wing fly off by itself, devil take head, feet and tail.”

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