Politics. Economics. Morality. Religion. And Everything In Between.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Starving the Beast

For my first meat-and-potatoes blog post, I will draw inspiration from ... someone else's blog. Pretty original, huh? ;) In all seriousness, though, I believe that you all need to read this post, consider it on its own merits, and THEN examine the issue from a different perspective: mine.

"Foseti" writes here that Paul Ryan is a "retard" for trying to restore Medicare to solvency by gradually reducing the fraction of patients' health care costs it pays for. He believes that Americans are so addicted to their "Great Society" government largesse (courtesy of LBJ) that they will throw out any politician who tries to cut their benefits.

Foseti could have developed his gloom-and-doom outlook after reading about this poll, in which the American public supposedly rejects cutting Medicare to balance the budget. Notice, however, the careful wording of the poll's main question. Pollsters asked whether or not Medicare has to be cut to balance the budget, and people said it does not. They're absolutely right! We could cut spending by roughly 30% and balance the budget without touching Medicare-just don't spend another penny on defense, ever. Likewise, Republicans could say that we can balance the budget without cutting a single defense dollar-just get rid of Medicare. Both of these approaches are possible, but neither is politically feasible. This question yields answers that misrepresent people's actual opinions.

What's more telling is that, if you read all the way to the bottom of the article, you will see that of the respondents in this poll, only thirty-three percent believe that Medicare will be around throughout their retirement, and only 35% believe they will collect Social Security throughout retirement as well, even though Social Security is a much more fiscally sound program. On the contrary, Mr. Foseti and Mr. and "Ms." John Q. Liberal, I believe that most of the American people understand the gravity of our country's financial situation. They recognize that their precious entitlement programs will go bankrupt and flat out cease to exist if something isn't done, and that they will sooner or later have to accept smaller payments or else get no payments at all.

1 comment:

  1. There is unfortunately a vast difference between something's practicality and its political feasibility. Your argument seems to be that Foseti underestimates the American public's logic, and I wish I believed that were true. It's a game of soundbytes and "cut benefits" is a bad one.