Friday, February 10, 2012

How It Will End


That the endless inadequately funded river of entitlement will dry up is a given. How it will end is what matters to me. I do not share your implied optimism that the wise men on both sides (Ryan, Wyden, Obama) recognize the problem and are searching for solutions. What I see are the spear carriers (McConnell, Pelosi) readying their troops for battle and using any casual remark  as a pretext to foment hysteria. The Dems clearly think they can bludgeon the Repubs into submission over Medicaire and the Ryan budget. And the Rebups engage in their usual breathtaking cynicism by accusing the Dems of  destroying Medicare while themselves planning to dismantle it.

Ross Douthat has framed the problem brilliantly . Right now we are like the Sunnis and the Shia. Both sides, left and right, think that final victory is just the next election away, and yet the American electorate keeps telling them in every way possible that the country remains deeply divided, and unable to accept the idea that we must begin to live within our means. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. If anything, it feels to me that we are further from a sensible way forward than perhaps at anytime since the 60s. And I fear that we will end up like this

BTW, I’m with you on elimination of the tax deduction for health care. Although I portrayed it as a giveaway to the rich, it affects lots of middle class workers and union members. Give them the money. Let them figure out what to do with it. Now isn’t that libertarian of me?


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