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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Be afraid, be very afraid

    I got this article from USA Today online. It speaks to my own concerns with the huge lobbying power of senior citizens and the interest groups that represent them and currently are ruling in Washington.

    Young people need to wake up or we're going to be sorry!

    As Washington dithers, fiscal storm clouds gather Wed Nov 30, 6:50 AM ET

    When Congress returns to Washington in December from its extended Thanksgiving break, it will resume the tragic comedy that passes for federal budget cutting. (Related: Opposing view)

    The numbers you'll be reading about might sound big. The Senate would cut $35 billion over five years and the House of Representatives $49.9 billion - enough to spawn acrimony between the two parties and between fiscally conservative Republicans and the free-spending variety.

    Averaged out, though, those cuts amount to 3% of the projected five-year deficits. They are barely one one thousandth of the $43.3 trillion needed to retire the national debt and fund estimated spending increases without borrowing or raising taxes.

    That should be embarrassing. The nation's finances are in perilous shape and rapidly deteriorating. Its debts and underfunded obligations loom over America's future like an economic and political hurricane.

    This storm has come about thanks to the irresponsibility of elected officials who refuse to protect the interests of the young and of generations to come. They have saddled future taxpayers with unconscionable debts by raising spending and cutting taxes to satisfy seniors, the wealthy and other politically potent groups.

    Even now, as lawmakers are debating curbs in spending that barely matter, they are also debating whether to extend tax cuts that would wipe out the savings.

    What caused this fiscal calamity? Part of the blame is the recent unaffordable tax cuts. Part, too, is the result of the Iraq war, hurricane relief and pork-barrel spending.

    But these pale compared with the twin issues of health care and retirement. Together, they account for half of all federal spending - and rising. The problem has long been recognized, but it got dramatically worse with the passage of a Medicare drug benefit and will head into crisis with the baby boomers' retirement. If the USA is to avoid a Third World-type debt crisis, with a guarantee of lower living standards, it will have to come to grips with these issues.

    That will mean taking on the senior lobby to enact health care reforms that halt soaring cost increases. It will likely require altering Medicare so that the wealthy pay more. And it almost certainly will require Americans to work longer. Consider:

    Health care. Annual Medicare spending is projected to surge eightfold by mid-century from its already sky-high level of $346 billion, which is about 13% of spending. It is being propelled to unsustainable levels by the same unsustainable 10%-15% annual increases wreaking havoc on private employers.

    Retirement. Surging life-expectancy rates and other factors have caused the ratio of workers to retirees to drop from 16-to-1 in 1950 to 3.3-to-1 today. It is projected to drop to 2-to-1 when the baby boom generation is fully retired. A system in which every two workers supports one retiree is too large a burden for any economy.

    Senior groups, such as the AARP, understate the problems and point to the many accomplishments of programs like Medicare and Social Security. Indeed, these programs have been wildly successful. But without reasonable limits, combined with broad health care reforms, they cannot continue to be.

    Now is not the time for nips and tucks. It is the time for bold action both to control spending and raise enough revenue to bring the federal budget into balance.

    The situation only gets worse with each passing year, and there's no AAFG (American Association of Future Generations) to offset AARP's clout. If Washington fails to get ready for this fiscal storm, it will make its preparations for Hurricane Katrina look like a model of good government.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: Be afraid, be very afraid

    not that i dont respect your veiws..........but..........exactly who is the originator of accountability concerning money!?and what does this say about the individual and the idea of "private" ownership and the 'my" money ploy by the current administration!?why cant we just let it go!!I HAVE!!(i'm lying!)when is the rest of the world gonna follow!?well,i guess it depends on the political and economic climate!!as long as people follow "my" money instead of social responsibility then we will always be counting beans!!there is either an artificial system or a real system!!the artificial is the tell me what to do.the real is i do what is good and right in my eyes and thus in those i know.my life is not my own but in the hands of those i meet along the way.this is true justice.ok...what was the question!?there was a question wasn't there!?OOPS!!nevermind!! :eek: :p :rolleyes:

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