Obama’s fool’s errand

President Obama is the eternal pragmatist; a man with an ever-extended hand, a centrist, a true moderate.

Now that the first paragraph has likely driven away all conservatives, allow me to elaborate. The president is releasing a budget proposal on April 10 that, according to various news outlets, includes what is referred to as chained CPI and additional Medicare cuts.

Chained CPI is a Republican favorite, as it ties Social Security cost-of-living adjustments to rises in inflation. The problem with this is it cuts Social Security benefits, even as health care costs continue to climb, especially for seniors. This coupled with additional Medicare cuts spells disaster for our seniors.

I work with Medicare Advantage plans. I’d like the president to explain chained CPI to a senior who I spoke with the other day who said that his cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security lead to a $12 increase in his Social Security check for the year, even as his health care premium rose by $41 for the year.

Conservatives often like to refer to our president as a dictator in disguise. “He’s coming for our guns,” they so often say, even as they label him “fascist, socialist, communist” (a clear confusion of “isms”)

And yet, gun manufacturers have made record profits since 2009. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, House Republicans and the like are still out there spewing about the “values” of failed economic dogma and the cultural preferences of older, white, religious, wealthy men. Little must conservatives realize that dictators annihilate their political opposition (and not just at the ballot box like in November 2012).

Obama’s no dictator. But he can’t be a pushover either. It’s time for some more second term toughness. If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.

Eric Engle