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View Diary: Frank Rich on Fox's Shepard Smith (263 comments)

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  •  I suspect we'd agree on some of these things (9+ / 0-)

    more than you think.  On the subject of Social Security and Medicare - what are your retirement plans?  It's irritating (to me, at least) to hear these things referred to as "entitlements" when I've paid into it every 2 weeks for all of my working life.  Pensions, funded mostly by our own money, are disappearing.  What are we all to live on, if not on our "entitlements"?  
    Bush wanted to put all that money WE put into our SS accounts into the stock market, said we'd all make a lot of money that way.  Yeah, right.  Somebody would have made money alright, but it wouldn't have been us.  
    Imagine for a moment what it would be like if nobody ever got a pension, or Social Security, or Medicare.  So we all work until we die?  Contrary to the "welfare queen" mental picture most Repubs hold in their heads, the people we're really talking about are regular folks with little kids, elderly people trying right now to decide which is more important - their medicine or food.  
    Are there abuses in these programs?  Of course there are, and together we could fix what's broken.  But to say we don't care about each other, don't care about what happens to our poor, our children, our disabled, and our elderly, is my idea of Hell on Earth.  
    A civilization can always (and SHOULD) be judged by how well it cares for the weakest among them, the most helpless.  Maybe that's my Inner Liberal coming out, but it's a bedrock belief, and I cannot change it.  
    As for some of our other problems - the deficit has been this bad for a long time now.  It's just that now we have truthful accounting.  Sure it looked better when we left off the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, of course it did.  But it was a lie.  Now, how do we go about fixing it?
    My own opinion - free trade is a joke.  If you ship all your jobs overseas, what's going to happen?  You're going to have a shortage of jobs at home, and your entire economy is going to suffer.  And those companies taking full advantage of cheap overseas labor?  They're economic treasonists, in my view.  And the inability to manufacture is weakening our national security.  Being dependent on anyone other than yourself for needed goods weakens us as a nation and makes us vulnerable.  

    •  I hear you on "entitlements" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, sherlyle, Matt Z, alexa100

      but I hope that you understand that there is no way that these programs are going away.  The question is how we save and protect them for the long run.  I give Bush credit for trying to change SS but he was, as Obama will be, hamstrung by what is possible.  I haven't read the updated report on SS and Medicare but the numbers from the previous report was that for SS there was a $16 trillion funding gap and for Medicare there was a $28 trillion gap.

      You, being much more liberal than I, would, presumably, want to reduce the funding gap by increasing taxes to a larger degree than I would.  Conversely, I would want to cut benefits (means test, raise retirement age, change bend points, etc.) more than you would.

      What is NOT acceptable to me (and hopefully to you) is to merely push the cost from seniors and boomers onto Gen X and their posterity.  Dems are in power and I hope they address these issues BUT the problem is that they simply can't propose a solution (like Bush couldn't propose a solution) because any solution will include tax increases AND benefit cuts and there is just no constituency to do this even though it is not only the right thing to do but the only thing we can do to save those systems.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 11:52:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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