Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Social Security roundup

I have to prepare for my ever-popular Amazing Race review, so I’ll review a couple of good articles I caught today:

Brendan Miniter writes in Opinion Journal: “Social Security reform will lead to party divisions, but not for the Republicans

David Brooks from the NY Times thinks the Democrats are taking their cues from 1994 in “The Gingrich Democrats”:

But if you look at the campaign against Social Security reform in Congress, you see a party still believing the old ideas will work if only they are pursued more ruthlessly.

This is a delusion. Newt Gingrich did help Republicans regain the majority. But that doesn't mean his tactics, even in caricature form, will work for the Democrats, whose problems are deeper. The truth is that Democrats probably need a leader who will make liberals feel uncomfortable, the way Clinton did, not someone who will make them feel righteous and good.
James Pinkerton in Newsday reviews “Managing the cost of an aging America

Meanwhile Jane Galt of Asymmetrical Information echoes my criticism that the Democrats refuse to elucidate any positions on the very programs that are considered the bedrock of Democratic policy, Social Security and Medicare:

One of the interesting features of the Social Security debate has been the number of people on the "leave Social Security alone" side who cheerfully proclaim that we don't need to do anything about Social Security because it's Medicare that's going to drive our nation into bankruptcy. I find this interesting, and not merely because it has an odd "why should I patch up this broken leg when the patient's just going to die of something else eventually" sort of flavour.

One oddity is that having proclaimed that Medicare is a total catastrophe, not one person I've seen make this argument has displayed the faintest whiff of interest in doing anything about it; indeed, as far as I can tell, most were among the chorus castigating George Bush for making the prescription drug benefit insufficiently generous.
Well put.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God, I love your Social Serurity Posts, they are my one-stop shopping for sense... This isn't a difficult problem... you simplify it further so that virtually any idiot could understand... Except my friends here in S.F. who's favorite solution is to do nothing.