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entitlements

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In the name of compromise, bipartisanship and the satisfaction of a ruling class that is indifferent to the suffering of ordinary Americans, President Obama is ready to sell parts of Social Security and Medicare in his attempt to strike an annual budget that satisfies Republicans and reduces the long-term deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, administration officials say.

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Sequestration is only the start. What the tea party set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government -- “drown it in the bathtub,” in the words of their guru Grover Norquist.

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Brace yourself. In coming weeks you’ll hear there’s no serious alternative to cutting Social Security and Medicare, raising taxes on middle class, and decimating what’s left of the federal government’s discretionary spending on everything from education and job training to highways and basic research.

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It has become accepted economic wisdom, uttered with deadpan certainty by policy pundits and budget scolds on both sides of the aisle, that the only way to get control over America’s looming deficits is to “reform entitlements.”

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