More "shared sacrifice"
Here's why the Democrats are full of it on social insurance and the so-called fiscal cliff:
There are two talking points:
1. The rich should pay "a little more," their "fair share." etc., in taxes.*
2. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security should not be cut.
Assune for the sake of the argument that the Democrats don't have another betrayal behind Door #2. It doesn't matter! Money's fungible! All the household money is in one pile. If the Democrats don't cut Medicaid, but do cut foot stamps, or unemployment insurance, or home heating aid, that pile shrinks! That's why this should be the baseline:
Not one penny of cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or any other social insurance program, and any savings to be paid out as benefits.
The Democrats are defending programs. But they should be defending households. Here are some of the social insurance programs that are on the table, even if Social Security, Medicare, and Medcaid turn out to be off the table:
Unemployment benefits extension in 2013 ($40 billion): If long-term unemployment benefits are allowed to expire at the end of the year, some 2 million jobless will be affected. Kogan says "there will be some extension, because that's just brutal. It's just a question of how much."
Job Training ($18 billion in 2009): Loads of federal job training programs help millions of seniors, Native Americans, farm workers, veterans, young people, and displaced or laid-off workers with career development.
Head Start ($7.9 billion): The program, which helps kids from disadvantaged homes be better prepared to start school, had about a million enrollees in 2010. Research has shown that Head Start generates real long-term benefits for participants.
Title 1 Education Grants ($322 million): Under the No Child Left Behind Act, school districts serving a big percentage of low-income kids get financial assistance to help them meet state academic standards.
Women, Infants, and Children ($7.2 million in 2011): The Department of Agriculture's WIC program helps low-income moms and babies get access to supplemental nutrition and health care referrals. WIC has about 9 million participants, most of whom are kids.
Not one penny should be cut from of any of these programs. Go scuttle an aircraft carrier or something. Stop one of the wars. Whatever, dude. You're the Preznit.
NOTE * Never mind that the top rate won't come close to the 90% top rate of the Eisenhower. And never mind that as MMT teaches, the operational reality is that taxes don't fund spending.