"Why does Mr. 0 hate old and poor people?" (photo courtesy of Jim White)

Pouting Baby is talking to us again. — JW

Today is a very sad day for old people and poor people. It’s finally being reported everywhere that what the smart people here at Firedoglake have been saying for a long time is true: Mr. 0 plans to cut Social Security. This is a really bad and mean thing to do to the old people and poor people who depend on Social Security to help them get the food and other things that they need to live. Here is how Ms. Jane described it to us earlier today:

According to both the Washington Post and the New York Times, Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security in exchange for GOP support for tax hikes.


Nobody ever says they want to “cut” Social Security or Medicare. They want to “save” it. Just ask Pete Peterson, he wants to “save” it. Likewise AARP. They don’t want reduced benefits for senior citizens, they want to “preserve” it for future generations. If they have an enormous customer base they can market private “add-on” accounts and other retirement products to when Social Security goes bye-bye, I guess that’s just a happy coincidence.

Now if you think that this is something the President is doing because it’s the only way to get Republican cooperation you can stop reading here, because we’re going to disagree. From the moment he took the White House, the President has wanted to cut Social Security benefits. David Brooks reported that three administration officials called him to say Obama “is extremely committed to entitlement reform and is plotting politically feasible ways to reduce Social Security as well as health spending” in March of 2009. You can only live in denial for so long and still lay claim to being tethered to reality.

What’s really sad about this is that just yesterday, when Mr. 0 was having his Twitterfest, he explained to us that the tax changes that are needed are really small and these changes alone would be enough to fix the budget:

The question is how do we pay for the things that we all think are important and how do we make sure that the tax system is equitable? And what I’ve said is that in addition to eliminating a whole bunch of corporate loopholes that are just not fair — the notion that corporate jets should get a better deal than commercial jets, or the notion that oil and gas companies that made tens of billions of dollars per quarter need an additional break to give them an incentive to go drill for oil — that doesn’t make sense.

But what I’ve also said is people like me who have been incredibly fortunate, mainly because a lot of folks bought my book — (laughter) — for me to be able to go back to the tax rate that existed under Bill Clinton, to pay a couple of extra percentage points so that I can make sure that seniors still have Medicare or kids still have Head Start, that makes sense to me. And, Jack, we haven’t talked about this before, but I’m assuming it makes sense to you, given Twitter has done pretty well. (Laughter.)

I think that for us to say that millionaires and billionaires can go back to the tax rate that existed when Bill Clinton was President, that doesn’t affect middle-class families who are having a tough time and haven’t seen their incomes go up. It does mean that those who are in the top 1-2 percent, who have seen their incomes go up much more quickly than anybody else, pays a little bit more in order to make sure that we can make the basic investments that grow this country — that’s not an unreasonable position to take. And the vast majority of Americans agree with me on that.

See? Mr. 0 knows that just by making rich corporations and rich people pay their fair share of taxes, that alone will make sure Head Start and Medicare don’t have to be cut and that the government can “make the basic investments that grow this country”. But he won’t just make those tax changes. Like Ms. Jane said, he wants to cut Social Security.

Mr. Jim’s favorite preacher, Pastor Larry talked about this push to cut back on taking care of old and poor and sick people in our country in his sermon on Sunday. (It isn’t posted yet, but soon can be found here, with the title “Outrunning the Bear” with the date July 3, 2011.) Pastor Larry was talking about the joke where two people encounter a bear and one remarks that he doesn’t have to outrun the bear but only has to outrun his companion and how this joke shows us how we have stopped caring for one another as much as we should:

But for a politician today to say there is no peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy for you is to be called a socialist. It’s like looking for an American leader wearing a plastic moral reminder bracelet that said, “What would France do?”


I could go on and on. Attacking the individualistic mentality of “I only have to outrun you to outrun the bear” is too easy. It’s so simple and clear that God calls us as a people in community. The categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant calls us to act in such a way that our individual actions could be a universal standard for all and that we never use others as a means to an end, such as getting away from a bear. Mohammed said “that person is the most beloved of God who does most good to God’s creatures.”

But as a nation we seem to be moving in exactly the opposite direction of these communal principles. If this sounds political, I don’t know how we can avoid being political when we are called by our compact to act in Christian concern for the welfare of all people. I believe in the social contract, that government exists to protect each of us in our most vulnerable times that we might rise freely in our most powerful times.

So Mr. 0 wants to cut Social Security. He knows this will hurt old and poor people when he does it. Why does Mr. 0 hate old and poor people? I think maybe it’s because when he cuts Social Security, he will make corporations and rich people happy. Since it’s the corporations and rich people who will give Mr. 0 the money he needs for his re-election campaign, he needs to keep them happy. It looks like getting re-elected means more to Mr. 0 than taking care of old and poor people does. And that is very sad and goes against the moral and religious teachings Mr. 0 had as a child.

Jim White

Jim White

Follow me on Twitter @JimWhiteGNV