When I saw this opinion piece by Bill Keller, I figured he was getting punk'd again. Keller goes on at length sounding very much like this blog: entitlement spending is out-of-control, it's crowding out all the discretionary spending we call the "government", and raising taxes or cutting the military won't get us close to balancing the books. This is quite a betrayal to the dogma of the Times' editorial page which fluctuates between denial and standard liberal silliness (let's raise taxes in a recession!). But, this being the NY Times, some habits die hard:
So the question is not whether entitlements have to be brought under control, but how. The Republican plan espoused by Mitt Romney and his fiscal lodestar Paul Ryan would cut the cost of entitlements largely by moving toward privatization: personal investment accounts for Social Security, vouchers for Medicare. And it’s not at all clear the Republicans would assign any of the savings to investing in our future.If you think Keller might launch into a brief harangue on the Democrats' political cowardice at this point, keep waiting. This has all the echoes of Tim Geithner's "we don't have a solution but we know we don't like yours." In the end, Keller misses the whole point as he urges Washington to take a whole series of steps to raise taxes (natch), reform this and that, and generally expand government to fix the problems it self-created.
At least the Republicans have a plan. The Democrats generally recoil from the subject of entitlements.