Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Young Should Be Angry

So says Robert Samuelson regarding the political class's abject failure to deal honestly with our looming crisis resulting from "excessive benefits for the old." Because "paying today's benefits inevitably involves much higher taxes, massive deficits or draconian cuts in other government programs," Mr. Samuelson recommends, among other things, the following reaction for the under 35 crowd:

You need to appeal to the shame and guilt of older Americans by reminding them that their present self-absorption is not a victimless exercise. Only if older Americans act on their rhetorical pledges of worrying about their children will the political climate change. If you -- the young -- don't stand up for yourselves, believe me, your elders and your politicians won't.

Ironically, while young voters should have such concerns, the candidate that the vast majority of them has chosen instead panders to the largest lobbying organization representing seniors:

Click on the Obama video. You'll see some world-class pandering. There are three basic ways of reducing the costs of Social Security and Medicare: increase eligibility ages; trim benefits; and require recipients to pay more for their Medicare benefits (higher premiums, co-payments or deductibles). In his talk, Obama effectively rejected all three.

Of course, Sen. McCain "pandered, too." Older people vote in droves, and attacking social security is a losing issue for Republicans. Still, at some point someone will have to be realistic about the impact of entitlements on our budget. If only Nixon could go to China, who will it be that can address the looming disaster of this excessive spending?

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