Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All children left behind

Here's Robert Samuelson with "Our children's future doesn't look so bright":
The squeeze will continue. In 1990, there were 32 million Americans 65 and over; by 2040, that's reckoned at 80 million. Rising costs for Social Security and Medicare have created a new political dynamic: If benefits for the elderly aren't cut, burdens on the young will go up. Decaying infrastructure poses similar choices. Either pay for repairs or tolerate substandard roads and dilapidated schools.
Our children's futures have been heavily mortgaged. That's true even if the economy returns in a few years to "full employment" (say, 5 percent unemployment) and past productivity gains (about 1.7 percent annually since 1966) continue. If today's weak recovery persists, the outlook darkens. Unemployment will remain high, say 7 percent to 9 percent. Wage increases will remain depressed. Young workers will have trouble finding jobs to develop the skills and contacts that lead to better jobs. Productivity growth might falter.
President Spend-a-Lot repeats incessantly about how Republicans will have to look a teacher or construction worker in the eye when they block his jobs bill.  But nobody - certainly not the media - asks Obama to look a kid in the eye and tell that kid to bear the burden of trillions of dollars of deficit spending.

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