Praying for painful cuts: Last night, Charlie Rose began his program with Julianna Goldman, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News.
Goldman interviewed Obama on Tuesday. Charlie was debriefing his guest about this session.
Goldman is a major comer—in fact, she’s already arrived. In October 2010, she was even named one of “The Power 30 Under 30” by The Apex Society, “an invitation-only, young professionals club based in New York City.”
On its web site, Apex explains its lofty ideals. Click here, prepare to cringe:
APEX SOCIETY: The Apex Society, an invitation-only, young professionals club based in New York City, produces the Power 30 Under 30™ Awards. Since its inception in 2000, the organization has made honoring young successful individuals a priority. Too often young professionals under the age of thirty are overlooked or considered professionally inept. The Apex Society begs to differ.Will Goldman be the next Michael Jordan? Already, it may be too late!
With the ascendancy of the Internet, the ambitious young leaders of this country are excelling like never before. We understand with great clarity and experience [sic] that they are the trendsetters, influencers, and leaders of tomorrow; they are the young adults that will become the next Steven Spielberg, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Jordan, Bono, or Bill Gates. Over the last few years, the Apex Society has succeeded in harnessing the bold spirit of energy, innovation, and unlimited possibilities.
Having said that, is Goldman professionally inept? We’re not sure how to judge that. At age 31, she already works for a major news org which serves the power elite.
In our view, she acted the part all through last night’s session, as Charlie gazed silently on.
Is Obama planning to nail the middle class through painful cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security? Goldman certainly seemes to have her fingers crossed!
Last night, in just her second statement, she seemed to be wishin’ and hopin’. At the rate she's going, she may turn out to be the next Dusty Springfield:
GOLDMAN (12/5/12): I think one of the things that this ultimately does come down to this set of negotiations is entitlements. Ultimately that is where—that is what’s driving the deficit and the debt problem that the country has found itself in.In fact, Obama said nothing favorable during the interview about changing the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security or raising the eligibility age for Medicare. Those desiderata were quickly cited by Goldman, largely ignored by Obama.
And—and so there’s a math issue, but there’s also a political issue for the president. And he knows that ultimately, the entitlement cuts that he’s going to have to agree to are going to hit middle class Americans. And he needs to be able to show that when that happens that he’s asking the rich to pay a little bit more.
And so one of—he was, he showed a lot of flexibility in the interview. You know, while he’s saying that he’s standing firm on taxes, he was showing flexibility on what those rates might end up being. Also on entitlements such as raising the Medicare eligibility age, changing the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security. That was all on the table in the summer of 2011. It was part of the proposal that Republicans put forth this week.
But he knows that in order to be able to agree to that, ultimately he needs to make sure that he’s extracting something from Republicans, which are these tax cuts.
With regard to Medicare, Obama seemed to talk about reductions in payments to providers. (“What I've said is that I am prepared to work with the speaker and Democrats and Republicans to go after excessive health care costs in our federal health care system. We're going to have to strengthen those systems, and I think we can do that without hurting seniors, without hurting beneficiaries.”)
It was Goldman who kept pushing for reductions in Medicare services.
But so what? All last night, as Charlie gazed on, Goldman just kept wishin’ and hopin’ for “painful” cuts in benefits.
Please please please, she seemed to say. Please let Obama make “painful” cuts affecting the middle class!
GOLDMAN: If you talk to people who are, have been familiar with negotiations in the past, they think that the President, they’re sort of scratching their heads on the strategy of coming out so aggressively with asking for $1.6 trillion in new revenues, when back in the summer of 2011 only $800 billion to $1.2 trillion was on the table. And so they think that part of the concern here is that the president might be boxing himself in, that when it does come time to bringing that number for revenues down, when he’s going to make to painful concessions on entitlements, that he could see some backlash from progressives within his own party.All right, all right! We get it!
GOLDMAN: When you speak to CEOs as they’re leaving the White House, what they say is, “Look, we understand that we're going to have to pay higher taxes. We are the wealthy that the president is talking about that are probably going to see their rates go up to 39.6 percent. We’re willing to do that as long as the deal is balanced which in Washington speak means paired with significant entitlement cuts that really do get to the heart of the debt issue.”
Is Obama planning to make painful cuts? He didn’t say that during his session with Goldman. But last night, a rising star was wishin’ and hopin’—and dreaming about a vacation:
GOLDMAN: You know, it’s like we haven’t been talking that much about the sequester. I think there is a sense that even if we do get to January 1st, you know, everyone talks about the fiscal cliff but it really is more like a slope, maybe a green—a green bunny slope for when you go skiing, you know.At that point, Charlie broke in.
GOLDMAN: It’s, you know—it’s not, it’s not necessarily even a double black diamond because the thinking is that if you get there, that's going to be the impetus that both sides need to sit down and get a deal and ultimately it’s going to mean Republicans voting for a tax cut because rates will have risen for the middle class and top earners.
ROSE: You sound like a skier.
GOLDMAN: Well I’d like to have a ski vacation this summer—this winter. But I’m not sure if any of us will be able to get out of town by the end...
We’ll guess that Goldman will get that vacation. But will she get those painful cuts? You can’t fault one of The Power 30 for a wee bit of wishin’ and hopin’.