White House spokesperson Jay Carney got into it with Jenna Lee on deficit reduction and the Easter Egg Hunt of all things. Lee asked, “The President has said that he’s open to changing the way that Social Security benefits, the increase for Social Security benefits are figured out, are calculated. …He’s open to that as part of a big deal. But if the President feels so strongly that changing that would be great for our country as a whole, why not just do it? Why use it as a bargaining chip?”
Carney answered, “That’s certainly the Republican line, we should do what they want to do and what’s hard for Democrats, but not what’s hard for Republicans. And that’s not how balance works. Why should we ask seniors to give but allow the well off and the well to do to keep special tax loopholes and exemptions in the tax code achieved through, largely through lobbyists’ work and not ask them to pay a little bit more? That just doesn’t make any sense.”
Lee, sounding like a Republican mouthpiece, asked, “For the good of the country. If it’s for what’s best for everybody, then why not consider it?”
Carney answered, “Because what’s good for the country is balance. Because if you don’t have balance, Jenna, you have what we see in the Ryan budget. The Tax Policy Center today said that the tax cuts that go disproportionately to the wealthy in the Ryan budget, would cost $5.7 trillion dollars. Guess who pays for that? Middle class families. …That’s how the math works.”
So Lee got in her next GOP-friendly shot: “…But the White House is going to be open for the Easter Egg roll for families of Congress, but not open for families that are just regular families.”
And here's where Carney smacked her down good: “If you did a little reporting, you’d know that the Easter Egg roll is open for a lot of military families (a); (b) it’s paid for by the sale of those eggs that come out as well as from donations on the outside. So it’s a totally different budget. These are apples and oranges.”
Carney was good at knocking back Lee's questions but it's a little disturbing to hear him so eager to cut social safety nets in return for the "balance" of closing tax loopholes. As Robert Kuttner wrote in a recent column called The Grand Bargain We Don't Need:
First, in these deals, it's usually Democrats who get taken to the cleaners. Republican leaders insist that their rank and file members will never vote for progressive tax increases, so the tax part of the bargain tends to focus on closing minor loopholes while Republicans demand major spending cuts in return.
Secondly, the sequester is a grave problem not just because the cuts are automatic, but because they are a down payment on a decade of budget cuts that both President Obama and the Republicans have embraced. If we trade the $85 billion of automatic cuts in the sequester for $85 billion of some other cuts, the impact on the economy is just as depressive.
The deal iz, CONtards want to keep evry1 scared of the multitudinous boogymens soz they’ll keep a rein on the American Dream they manage so well, never sayin’ how the Industrial-Military-Banking complex is totally anti-Republic … “Corroded Values Voters”, the GOPs number one support group.