Obama’s budget brings change

Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLCAccountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC, The Barefoot Accountant, and William Brighenti, CPA

>>> me show you what he said, and then i’ll explain.

>> you talked about social security medicare and medicaid. the truth is social security is not the huge contributor that the other two entitlements are. i’m confident we can get social security done in the same way that ronald reagan, tip o’neil were able to get it done, by parties coming together, making some modest adjustments, i think we can avoid slashing benefits, and i think we can make it stable and stronger for not only this generation, but for the next generation.

>> stronger for the next generation. remember, tip o’neil and ronald reagan wound up making some cuts to social security. he says we’ve got the issue with it big affecting the deficit a bit. in fact social security doesn’t affect it at all. what game are they playing? i remember the reaction yesterday. it was curious. they all had a similar theme. eric cantor called it a missed opportunity to lead. paul ryan said the president failed a critical test of leadership. jim jordan said he failed a crucial test of leadership. and republican senator john cornyn called it a missed opportunity to lead. so what you it? why are they all talking about leadership and leading? he introduced the budget, so what’s with the code words? what are they trying to get at? that’s what we’re trying to figure out, then i see alabama senator jeff sessions on cnn’s ” american morning” yesterday and it began to make sense.

>> we need to do this? a bipartisan way. none of this will ever pass if the president is not supporting it. he should be helping us. he’s the leader.

>> do you understand what’s happening? they’re playing a little game here. they have a little dance going. they’re saying, hey, president obama, you left out social security medicare and medicaid in your budget. it would be great for us republicans if you would lead on that issue. in other words, we want to cut social security, but we don’t want to take the political hit for it, so why don’t you lead on that? okay. now that game translates to president obama coming out today in the clip you saw first going, well, i’d like to achieve bipartisan consensus on it, but why don’t you lead instead? the game continued today. so here’s republican budget chairman paul ryan during a committee hearing. watch him.

>> this year’s budget in particular presented the president with a unique opportunity to lead our country. the president has disappointed us all by declining that opportunity. he punted. the president has abdicated his leadership role. first he punted to a bipartisan fiscal commission to develop solutions, then when his own commission put forward a set of reforms, a commission comprised of a majority of democrats, he ignored them.

>> talking about punting, we would really like for the president to lead on this. now, he already cut the spending. it ain’t about the spending. it’s about what they call entitlements. remember, they are entitlements, because you paid into them your whole life, you are entitled to them. what do they have to do? they want to talk about that commission that paul ryan just referred to. that commission said we need to raise the retirement age to 69, and we need to reduce benefits. this they raise it to 70, you know between 65 and 70, the difference is $63,000 for every person who would retire? that’s the amount of money they would take out of your pocket. i’m never going to let go of that sack. that’s a huge amount of money think would take from you. he goes to obama, don’t punt, you better lead. now obama will take a shot at him. let’s watch that.

>> the fiscal commission put out a framework. i agree with much of the framework, i disagree with some of the framework. it is true that it got 11 votes. that was a positive sign. what’s also true, for example, is that the chairman of the house republican budget tiers didn’t sign on.

>> that’s paul ryan. he’s taking a little dig there. if you’d like to cut the entitlements, why don’t you do it, big guy? have at it. who takes up that challenge? house speaker john boehner says, all right, let’s do it.

>> when it comes to the real issues facing our country, he just punted. republicans will not punt. we will — everything’s on the table. we will put forward a budget that deals with the big challenges that face our country.

>> so after boehner says, hey, listen, we will not punt, we will actually take this on, obama says, all right, now it looks like we’re having a deal. let’s watch obama.

>> look, i was glad to see yesterday republican leaders say how come he didn’t talk about entitlements?

>> i think that’s progress. what we had been hearing made it sound as if we just slashed deeper on education or, you know, other provisions in the domestic spending that somehow that alone was going to solve the problems.

>> it’s not alone going to solve the problems. you’ve got to go after social security, medicare and medicaid. now that the republicans have said it or begin to say it, now president obama says now we can dance. i didn’t want to lead on it, we’re trying to figure out who will get the political blame, but today they seem to agree that at some point they’re going to cut your social security. they politicians drive me crazy. it is the single least popular thing in america, but it looks like they’re going to agree to do it. now, joining me is adam green, cofounder of the progressive change committee. adam, i know a lot of democrats will say, what do you mean? he said he would not slash the social security. what’s the matter with you guys?

>> some people will say that, but it’s very important to point out whether you call it a slash, whether you call it a cut, a trim, any cut to social security is the same thing, and that is a betrayal of workers who paid into and earned these benefits. we need to say with one solid voice, no way, this is not on the table.

>> well, they say, adam, look, it’s connected to the deficit, we have huge deficit problems, what do you say to that?

>> the best way to solve the deficit is create jobs now that means massive investments in our infrastructure. that will pay for itself in the long term, but more importantly we need to define this better. it is simply just not true that all attempts to deal with the deficit are created equal. we’ve heard a lot from president obama recently in the context of egypt about how self-determination in a democracy is important, the will of the people must govern. guess what? overwhelmingly, rep, and democratic people say no cuts to social security, no cuts to medicare, no cuts to medicaid, but do you know what that bipar san consensus does support? cutting bush tax cuts for the wealthy, cutting wasteful military, taxing wall street more? we have bipartisan consensus in the country, we just have to stop retaining the idea that these ideas are bad. we need president obama to finally face up.

>> so, look, it drives me crazy, because the consensus in washington is exactly the opposite of is the consensus in the rest of the country. there’s a reason for it. they’re ball by the people who pay their bills, the lobbyists. the lobbyists like tax cuts for the rich. they’ve got to get the money somewhere, right, adam? they’re going to get it from social security. when they say social security is in trouble, look, we know when the — say it, it ain’t true. it has a $2.5 trillion surplus. why does president obama agree with them? why does he accept their framing? why does he come out and say it’s related to the deficit, et cetera, and that we need to come to a consensus on basically how not to slash it, but to cut it?

>> we probably could have an entire two-hour program about president obama’s issues with his — but i think it could be summed up like this. he is intent to using republican framing on almost every issue. today he said social security is not, quote, a huge contributor. that’s just not true. it is not in any way, shape or form a contributor. not one penny is contributing to the deficit because of social security. as you said, it has a surplus, but he said, quote, medicare and medicaid are huge problems and talked about the deficit. no, i’m sorry, democratic presidents should not be talking about medicare and medicaid in those terms. people like my grandmother are dependent on medicare to survive. if democratic presidents only talk about social programs, well, they’re certainlially asking to lose. they need to have a winning mentality to go on the offense, and finally pick a fight with the republicans and beat them. we need them to not cut social security. i mean, we — the one thing we beat bush on was not cutting social security. harry reid beat them back, et cetera, et cetera, even harry reid beat them back. we’ll see, maybe we’re wrong, maybe obama will come out strong and fighting. i hope he does.

>> i don’t think we’re wrong, but i agree, it would be great if he came out fighting. we would be there fighting with him if he did fight the republicans on this issue, no doubt about it.

>> thank you, adam.

>>> how often do you hear a host say, god, i hope i’m wrong? that would

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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