A Pithy Sum-Up of the Structural Ailment of U.S. Government

The bigger problem with Obama's approach is his failure to address—at least so far—the reform of Medicare and Social Security. Without big reductions in spending on these programs, the kinds of investments in the future prosperity that Obama envisions won't be possible. We'll continue to evolve toward a government whose primary function is transferring income from working people to retirees. You don't have to frame this dynamic in racial terms, as Ross Douthat does, to see it as a recipe for social misery. The simple generational unfairness, as well as the drain on economic vitality, is going to become increasingly apparent. If Obama wants to offer a convincing vision of the federal government's role, he will need to recognize the growing imbalance between generosity for the old and investment in future generations. Preserving our biggest entitlement programs in their current form because they have a powerful constituency is hardly a progressive stance. It's the definition of reactionary liberalism.

That's Jacob Weisberg, at Slate.

10 comments on “A Pithy Sum-Up of the Structural Ailment of U.S. Government
  • Claptrap.

    This is yet another example of a desperate attempt to draw attention from the failed 30 year experiment called Supply Side Economics.

  • Depends on the person. USA still offers tremendous opportunity in so many
    fields. Obviously, for some, there's more opportunity abroad…and I agree
    Santiago is a great place to go!

  • Sniveling Jacob Weisberg is a stooge in this Republican confidence scam, taken in by flimflam man Paul Ryan and his phony budget plan with its proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

    This cynical fraud is simply the opening gambit of the GOP in staking out its position for 2012.

    I doubt even the dopes of the Republican Party will choose to self-destruct come election time with all those voting seniors out there.

    As Matt Taibbi so succinctly puts it, “when the time comes to actually pull the trigger on the proposed reductions, the whippersnappers are quietly removed from the stage and life goes on as usual, i.e. with massive deficit spending on defense, upper-class tax cuts, bailouts, corporate subsidies, and big handouts to Pharma and the insurance industries.”

    Paul Krugman illuminates the Republican mean-spiritedness, “…it was a sick joke. The only real things in it were savage cuts in aid to the needy and the uninsured, huge tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and Medicare privatization. All the alleged cost savings were pure fantasy.”

    Ryan’s proposal also includes dropping the top tax rate for rich people from 35 percent to 25 percent. That alone means the government would be collecting over $4 trillion less over the next ten years.

    He wants to finance these tax cuts for the rich on the backs of the middle class by cutting their benefits and:

    “The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts…Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.”

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    That Slate column is more a pithy sum-up of the structural ailment of Jacob Weisberg’s disordered mind.

  • Ya, so I wouldn’t touch this debate with a 10 foot pole. Then again, I don’t live in the United States of America. I have medicare and am never sure what the big deal is over it???

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