Before you start thinking Obama’s second term will usher in a new era of socialism and state growth you should read a few progressive opinion pieces.
Lets start with Cenk Uygur at HuffPo:
…understand that this so-called compromise they are talking about in order to avoid this supposed calamity is a trick. In fact, it’ll be the greatest robbery in American history. Think about it — they say they are worried about all those tax increases and spending cuts. But that’s not true. The Grand Bargain would dramatically increase spending cuts, not alleviate them. So, in fact, the only thing they care about is paying less taxes, as always.
Right now, according to the sequester $1.2 trillion in spending cuts are set to take place if nothing happens. Half of that would come from defense. Of course, this is the real problem because there’s no way the defense contractors are going to allow that. Whenever people in Washington complain about spending cuts they mean spending cuts that would affect defense contractors. They want to massively increase spending cuts everywhere else in the budget.
[T]he president’s own proposed budget cuts of $4 trillion over ten years average out to $400 billion a year. In other words, the Obama Cliff is almost as large as the fiscal cliff that everyone dreads. Whatever the precise mix of tax increases and spending cuts, $4 trillion is too big a cliff.
And while Obama’s supposed new toughness on tax policy has gotten most of the attention, he seems poised to give away the store on spending cuts. Recently, Bob Woodward was given a leaked copy of the Administration’s offer in the proposed budget deal of 2011 that fell apart because House Speaker John Boehner was unable to deliver his Republican caucus to support any revenue increases.
In that aborted deal, Obama was prepared to cut Social Security and increase the Medicare eligibility age. White House leaks have suggested that both items will be on the table this time. That’s bad policy, and worse politics. The clearest principled differences that distinguish Democrats from Republicans is that Democrats are staunch defenders of Social Security and Medicare, while Republicans are eager to cut, privatize, and voucherize.
So the good news is that the Democrats won the election and President Obama’s spine has been stiffened on the subject of taxes. The bad news is that the skids are greased for a budget deal that cuts more than necessary, risks putting the economy back into recession, and blurs differences between the parties on critical issues like Social Security and Medicare.
Very soon, many on the left will charge Barack Obama as a betrayer of progressivism. He’ll be weak, he’ll be a capitulator to the right. He’ll be callous to the poor. He will have destroyed our social safety net. You get my point. Obama’s first term was marked by attacks from his left and right. The second will be no different.