RE “STATE’S House members firm against benefit cuts,” Page A1, Nov. 30:
It took an anti-communist Republican like Richard Nixon to do what no Democrat dared to try when Nixon unexpectedly sought détente with Mao’s China. Now it appears that a supposedly liberal Democrat like Barack Obama is prepared to do what no Republican president has risked doing openly: weaken the social safety net, the Democratic Party’s foremost legacy since the Great Depression.
The “grand bargain” Obama is seeking, trading tax hikes for benefit cuts, would be a massive betrayal of working Americans. Thank goodness some Democrats are willing to oppose him.
The “fiscal cliff,” like the deficit itself, is a manufactured crisis. It is being used as an excuse by conservative Republicans, whose policies created the deficit to begin with, to impose unwise austerity measures on an otherwise unwilling populace by gutting social programs to which they are ideologically opposed. But they can only achieve their goals with the collusion of spineless “Democrats in name only.”
Unfortunately, it appears that one of those Democrats is the president himself.