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Manchin running cover for House GOP

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Joe Manchin has gotten an extra special pinky promise from Kevin McCarthy that no cuts will be made to Social Security and Medicare as part of the shooting the hostage negotiations over the debt ceiling:

On Wednesday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has agreed to leave cuts to Medicare and Social Security off the table in debt ceiling negotiations. . . .

It’s still unclear what other types of cuts Republicans are considering in these negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on Monday that the GOP should reveal their intentions to the public, saying that “Republicans are talking about draconian cuts, they have an obligation to show Americans what those cuts are and let the public react. … Does that mean cuts to Social Security or Medicare or child care or Pell Grants?”

The GOP is in a bit of tight spot here, given that the typical Republican voter believes that 83% of the federal budget is dedicated to free Obamaphones, T-bone steaks, and “foreign aid.” As you can see from the chart at the top of the post, once you take major entitlements, debt service, and money for The Heroes Who Keep Us Free off the table, there isn’t a whole lot left to cut, and what’s left over is for the most part extremely popular: national parks, subsidized student loans, NASA, etc.

Of course for the hardcore morons there’s always “waste, fraud, and abuse,” the Stairway to Freebird of this genre from back in the glorious 1970s, when St. Reagan was taking over the Republican party. Lets listen to a little classic rock:

Even former President Donald Trump joined the dialogue, urging Republicans in a video message last week against cutting those programs.

“Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security,” Trump said in the video. “Cut waste, fraud and abuse everywhere that we can find it and there is plenty, there’s plenty of it,” he continued. “But do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save Social Security, don’t destroy it.”

[Insert Loomis-style boomer rant here].

The Biden administration’s position should be that there will be no negotiations, period, and that Joe Manchin should busy himself with making sure his constituents get their next hit of Oxy on time.

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