Julianna Goldman, wishing and hoping!

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2012

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.

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.
Will Goldman be the next Michael Jordan? Already, it may be too late!

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.

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.
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.

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.

[...]

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.”
All right, all right! We get it!

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.

ROSE: Right.

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...
At that point, Charlie broke in.

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’.

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  2. What if they were simply mildly annoying cuts, or necessary but kind of unnoticeable cuts? Why this emphasis on pain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pain!!! Nothing less will do. David Gregory insists. This has become his obsession. It's the only thing he wants to know when he asks questions. HOW MUCH REAL PAIN WILL THERE BE?

      Delete
    2. One thing is for sure, he's not someone who will feel any pain.

      AC/MA

      Delete
  3. It's the "flat pain" concept: if rich people are going to feel any pain (they will feel none, in fact, but that's beside the point because they will in theory), then everyone else damned well better feel pain, too.

    ReplyDelete
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  5. Why is the vast majority of Charlie Rose's guests, tribe members?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, even David Gregory looks pretty young to me (b. 1970, when I was in college). I wonder how Young People from Goldman to Gregory (let's not even mention Little Luke) would react to bread lines (not that I saw them, but I certainly heard about them from people who had lived through them and about other indignities of the Great Depression). In a world without welfare and food stamps at all, or social services, e.g., for orphaned children (I heard plenty of horrible stories from people who had lived in such a world). In a world without easy, legal access to birth control and (for those outside of states like Kansas) abortions (I was a young woman in such a world). In a world where American children had stomachs swollen from starvation, where millions of children and elderly were suffering from malnutrition. I remember that world.

    Not that it's gone, of course, but journalists like Gregory and Goldman certainly don't cover it. Come to think of it, we need another Michael Harrington. Something to get their attention.

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  8. Alex Pareene notices the same failure of MSM elites re basic reporting that makes clear what the hell is going on so an ordinary citizen can make up their own minds...

    ht Paul Krugman in this:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/simpson-bowles-explained/

    for pointing to this:

    Simpson-Bowles is magic
    It's every pundit's favorite budget plan, but no one seems to know -- or care -- what it actually contains
    By Alex Pareene

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/05/simpson_bowles_is_magic/

    excerpt: After two years of bizarrely timed deficit hysteria dominating cable news nearly every day, Americans as a whole are horribly ill-informed on all matters relating to the national debt and the competing proposals to lessen it. A majority of voters, bless them, have no opinion at all on “Simpson-Bowles,” because they clearly have no clue what it is. Nearly a quarter of voters, though, have opinions on a made-up plan Public Policy Polling polled them on to make a point about how Washington’s favorite plan is just a meaningless series of syllables to most normal people.

    A much less scientific poll — an online survey by Business Insider — has an even more interesting result: A plurality of people believe that “going over the fiscal cliff” will increase the national deficit. Only 12 percent of people correctly said it would decrease the deficit, but this is what happens when conservatives and “moderates” spend years fear-mongering about the deficit and then suddenly tell everyone that they should be terrified of a series of policies that will radically reduce the deficit. People get confused!

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/05/simpson_bowles_is_magic/

    ReplyDelete
  9. The 2012 Report of the Social Security and Medicare Trustees says:

    Lawmakers should not delay addressing the long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare. If they take action sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits. (emphasis added)

    The SS experts, who ought to know, say that leaving SS alone is bad for vulnerable populations. Liberals take pride in their compassion for vulnerable populations. So, they ought to be in the forefront of those demanding cuts in SS benefits and/or increases in assessments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No douchebag, liberals shouldn't "be in the forefront of those demanding cuts in SS benefits."

      Demanding cuts to avoid making forced cuts makes no sense.

      The "long run financial challenges" are, as you well know, VERY SMALL relative to GDP.

      They can and should be entirely addressed with modest revenue increases for SS.

      Also, since you never contribute anything worthwhile here, preferring instead always your libertarian obfuscations, please just go the f*ck away.

      Delete
  10. An earnest Swell-in-training. The CEOs she chats up around the White House are sure to be impressed by her longing for "pain" when it comes to "entitlement reform". That level of "serious-mindedness" can't help but require an occasional jaunt down the slopes just to relieve the pressure of being a tool on the go.

    It reminds me of a book I read many years ago called "Who will Tell the People? ..." by William Greider circa '92. Don't know how well it holds up as a whole today, but there was one chapter- "Angle of Vision" that remains fascinating. It described how working class "reporters", who once worked their way up the ranks and knew their communities in the then more influential local print media, gave way to a dominance of socially well-connected, prestige institution educated "journalists". Greider was also behind the ten years prior Supply-side "Trojan Horse" revelation that defined 30 years ago Republican's primary guiding principle in a nutshell- lowering the top income tax rate.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pain!
    It's the frog in hot water analogy that Krugman and I have used to explain why Americans put up with slowly increasing income inequality.

    Now that the frogs are hopping around like fleas on a griddle, the Republican leaders are abandoning the Tea Party like rats jumping a sinking ship.

    (Forgive the anthropomorphic excesses)

    Somerby has been telling us for many years that for liberals to mock the poor deluded Tea Partiers was self defeating, but I'm thinking maybe it had a salutary effect.

    IMHO the Democrats should make attacking the Tea Party a top priority for the next 18 months.

    Of course they have to have some positive gains as well.

    Gravymeistar said:

    Drop a frog into a pot of hot water, and it will quickly leap out, so the parable goes. But if you put him in cold water and gradually heat it up, he will stay until he is cooked.

    So it seems with the American people. If you gradually break the power of unions, nobody will notice until we have returned to the stage of robber barons and wage slaves. If you say unemployment is down and business is up enough times, people will forget that, forty years ago, a man with a high school diploma could get a secure job that allowed him to have every Saturday and Sunday off, two weeks paid vacation and five to seven paid holidays per year. He could buy a house, a car, pay his medical bills and life insurance premiums, (unless a family member contracted a catastrophic illness) put food on the table, and support a wife and a few kids without any of them having to work. He would not have to take a second job. His wife could stay home to raise the kids.

    Americans have gotten used to huge CEO compensation packages. Our worker forty years ago saw the head of the company earning 24 times what the employees did. Today’s rank and file look at CEO pay 262 times their own. The boss makes as much each workday as the employee makes the entire year. But, hey, a rising tide lifts all boats, doesn’t it? (Speaking of tides, does the water seem a little warmer?)

    We used to listen to Walter Cronkite, and Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, and we knew we were getting the truth, at least as they knew it. We trusted the mainstream media to protect us from government excess. Now, the reporters and pundits have become the corporate class and have joined up with the liars in government. They have joined the leisure class, with country manors and city town houses, too. (The water is definitely hotter than it was.)

    Now, those that tell the truth are ignored, or, if they speak too loudly, they are told to shut up, and reviled and mocked by the media, and hounded and destroyed by the government.

    Now, reporters whine if we complain when they repeat lies. They think that asking them to be truthful is an unreasonable demand.

    5/14/08

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