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Obama Begins Bipartisan Talks on Spending Cuts

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Last Sunday, NBC News' "Meet the Press" program posted part of a secret document outlining the Obama administration's final offer in abortive negotiations with Boehner in July 2011, the first attempt at a "grand bargain" that would have raised the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, cut future inflation-linked increases in Social Security benefits, and imposed other significant cuts in social spending. (See: Leaked "grand bargain" document details Obama's plan for cuts in entitlement programs).

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that White House officials are in "advanced discussions about a plan to postpone $110 billion in spending cuts," known as the "sequester," that is scheduled to begin in January, half of it in military programs. The newspaper said, "The plan would entail a smaller package of spending cuts and tax increases to put off for six to 12 months the cuts that would affect federal spending on defense and other domestic programs." Congressional Republicans have called for deferring only the military half of the spending cuts.

After Obama's Wednesday press conference, where he said he was "open to new ideas" on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, a White House official told McClatchy News Service that the administration would consider a top income tax rate of 37 percent or 38 percent for families making more than $250,000 a year. That rate is currently 35 percent, but scheduled to return to 39.6 percent, the level that prevailed in the 1990s, when the Bush tax cuts expire January 1.

An analysis of the "fiscal cliff" in the New York Times Friday noted that most Americans were unaware of the looming deadline, in large part because the Democrats and Republicans deliberately downplayed the issue during the 2012 election campaign. The article explained that "most solutions are politically painful," and continued: "In a rare show of bipartisanship, or mutual protection, both parties ducked the debate until after the election."

The US "newspaper of record" all but admits that the 2012 elections were a fraud, a "conspiracy of silence" against the American people, in which not only the two capitalist parties, but the corporate-controlled media participated. All those engaged in hyping the elections as a titanic struggle of irreconcilably opposed camps were aware that as soon as the votes were counted, the two parties would join in a bipartisan effort to dismantle social programs on which tens of millions of people depend.

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

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...who suffer the most. While the riches among us ... by Ginger McClemons on Monday, Nov 19, 2012 at 5:14:09 PM