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Monday, August 14, 2006

Entitlement Reform

This looks like good news. Is it possible that the Republicans could finally grow a tiny bit of fiscal responsibility?

"The Bush administration has begun sounding out lawmakers and other key figures about mounting a new bipartisan effort to rein in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security after the midterm elections, according to officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill.


Blogger Dick Fox said...


I still remember the fiasco of Social Security reform, not on the part of the White House but on the part of the Republican leadership in Congress. The Republican leadership even seems weaker now and may even be more so after the election. I will grasp at any hope, but my reason is skeptical.

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Jimi said...

Dick -
Don't forget about the "tax simplification" initiative as well. Here's hoping that Paulsen brings something to the table that others did not.

4:25 AM  
Blogger ed hanson said...

Name me any real reform in any last two years of any two term president. Nothing real will happen, it just will not under our government structure.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Robert P. Churchill said...

The GOP portion of the Senate consists (roughly) of 48 folks who are more or less willing to go with the program and about six flaming moderate RINOs. It's always been the six that kept much meaningful from getting done. (ooooh, what I wouldn't have given to drop-kick Arlen Specter- where's Doug Flutie when you need him?). Even if the GOP doesn't lose its majorities this time around, it still won't be able to overcome this hurdle.

Now, if Bush himself hadn't himself been such a clueless, squishy moderate he both might have gotten something done and gotten a few like-minded colleagues elected on his coattails. As it is he's just made the world less safe for Republicans (which in the long run may be good, since neither of the big two really has a clue).

7:57 AM  
Blogger David Wood said...

Man, what a bunch of cynics. Unfortunately, the odds favor cynicism on this one, I will admit.

Does no one here see any change coming due to the increasing bypassing of the legacy media by the internet? I'm thinking that, over time, things like PorkBusters will make a difference. They've already gotten the legacy media involved in opening up the murky appropriations process to a little light:

9:09 AM  
Blogger Robert P. Churchill said...

Well David, the nice thing that will happen before too long is that the real deficits will become too big and too real to hide. It's just a shame that the crew on the mall won't acknowledge that reality until forced to do so. Nary a leader in the bunch. All that said, H.L. Mencken is still right, and not enough people will understand what's happening and hold their feet to the fire.

So yeah, color me cynical. I see a 230 year trend in one direction only. It'll take a while before I believe anything different is going to happen.

10:23 AM  
Blogger ed hanson said...

Deficits are not too high or real now, Robert and won't be in the next two years. As the deficet in medicare and SS become real in ten years or so, why do you think they will effect anything in government. It will be a world wide phenomena, and the government will just inflate with the rest of the world.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Dick Fox said...

Ed H: As the deficet in medicare and SS become real in ten years or so, why do you think they will effect anything in government. It will be a world wide phenomena, and the government will just inflate with the rest of the world.


You are exactly correct. The problem is that everyone will suffer. Those who believe their entitlement will give them something will see that entitlement erode away, and along with it any money in savings and checking accounts.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Henry Meers said...

Dick & Ed,

I suppose entitlement reform is already happening, people are getting what they paid for, virtually nothing. There won't be a crisis for government; it will, as always, be for one for us absent reform. The only serious and lasting reform has to be privatization, protecting people's property rights. They don't exist under Social Security.

The government will protect itself, with the whole-hearted support of the populace, so there won't be a financing crisis down the road. Most of the people on this board will be "means tested" right out of the program to make way for some undoubtedly more deserving soul.

2:16 PM  
Blogger David Wood said...

But means testing is a good solution, IMHO, Henry. It would be one workable method of financing shifting from the current system to personal accounts.

Is it fair? Actually, yes, I think it is. Social Security as it exists is a scheme to steal from current producers to give to retirees. As I see it, the fact that I've had money systematically stolen from me in no way entitles me to steal from others in turn. If you get mugged on the street, are you thereby entitled to mug the next person to come along? No. Same applies to Social Security. I sure don't plan to accept any checks from them. The thought of living off of money expropriated from others, expecially people less well off than me, is morally repugnant.

5:22 PM  

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