Monday, January 28, 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow, reform ya, tomorrow

Politico has a long article titled "The quiet liberal plans for entitlement reform" where they float a bunch of ideas that - just you wait! - the left-wing are going to propose to save Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

Only they won't because, as I wrote a while ago, demagoguing entitlements is like crack to the Democrats and every call for reform ends with nothing.  Oh there are always "quiet" and "secret" plans in the works which exist as a placeholder to show the liberals are "serious" about the entitlement programs which are about collapse upon their insolvent trust funds.  But - just like Godot - they never arrive.

I'm so jaded on this issue that I'd love to see Congress pass a resolution stating that it will follow the current law on entitlement trust funds: when they run out, benefits will be automatically cut.  It's sad to think we have to compel Washington to follow their own laws, but without a doubt the political pressure to maintain benefits through more borrowing or spending from the general budget will be overwhelming.  So we'll continue to build our house of cards of debt and push the problem off to another generation.  Sigh.

Last year, I saw the movie "Looper" and there's a line where a character from the future urges the protagonist to "learn Mandarin" because China is going to run the show.  Given that our mounting debt is dependent (or obscured) by the Fed's policy of quantitative easing along with China's investment in U.S. bonds, I wonder how much of our economic future lies in our own hands and how much lies overseas.


The Sanity Inspector said...

I'm investing in Depends. Because when it's time for me to retire, I've got a feeling I'm going to look at my savings and soil my pants.

Anonymous said...

Let's blame "Democrats demagoguing entitlements" while insisting that Social Security is blowing up the debt and turning us into Greece. Let's call chopping Medicare and repealing Obamacare "reform," and wonder why shortsighted people keep blocking reform, since reform is as good as hope and change put together. Let's embezzle the SS trust fund for decades, be aghast that the remainder is less than we need it to be, and advocate for those who have been robbed to make up the difference.

Eric said...

Hey, all I'm saying is that current law decrees that when the Trust Funds run out of cash, benefits are automatically slashed. That's the law.

If the Democrats want no hand in reforming the current law then let the chips fall where they may.