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  •  It depends (0+ / 0-)

    I think I'm an either an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist, I can't really decide.

    But here's the rub, most of us (and all too many of us that actually follow politics) keep thinking the same way.  We are stuck in a left/right, Democrat/Republican mindset and it is crippling our ability to come together to deal with the issues.

    Take Social Security.  No one thinks that this is the top priority in our country but the simple fact is that our government's best guess is that there is a $16 trillion gap between what we promised in benefits and what we can pay.  Now, being human we can't really understand the word Trillion.  I personally think that a million is a lot and I'm pretty sure that a million multiplied by another million is pretty damn huge.  Do that 16 times and you have the equivalent of the gap in Social Security.

    Now, the Republicans tried to close this gap in 2005 and the Dems screamed that they are out to destroy Social Security with massive cuts.  And the Dems won.  Now, if the Dems tried to close this gap by doing it more with tax increases than with benefit cuts, then Republicans would scream "Socialism" and "largest tax increase in the history of our country".

    To go one step further in the analysis, it is pretty clear that we are split between liberals, conservatives and independents.  No one group has the power to get things just how they want and so it is fairly obvious that we will have to compromise and fix the gap with a mixture of tax increases and benefit cuts.

    But what politician in their right mind is going to run on a platform of increasing taxes and cutting benefits?  After all, very few of us are willing to even consider that our lives can somehow be better by raising taxes and cutting benefits.  But living in accordance with proper values is a virtue and can lead to a fuller life.

    So yes, I'm pessimistic because I see the political discourse as being so poor that we can't begin to discuss something as simple to fix as Social Security.  But I'm optimistic that that can change.

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

    by theotherside on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 07:03:51 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  No one thinks???? (0+ / 0-)

      Oh please, Social Security isn't on the radar because it currently doesn't have a knife to its throat.  As soon as it does, watch out.  People opposed the corporate insurance bill because it cut Medicare to pay for it.    Boomers paid for their folks and themselves.  We also paid to put our kids through college, and now we are paying for our grandkids college.  

      People who follow politics know that "liberals, conservatives and Independents" doesn't even make sense as a cluster.  There are liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats.  Independent describes party affiliation, not ones political leanings.

      Polls in devastated Michigan, highest unemployment rate in the country for eight years, show that people support raising taxes as opposed to blowing the place to shit.   Anybody who opposes taxes is nothing more than a charge and spend Reagan Republican.  

      They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

      by dkmich on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:23:54 AM PST

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      •  Yet another boomer that won't face (0+ / 0-)

        what your generation has done.  Democrats want to blame it all on the Republicans and vice versa.  Together you guys did quite a job and there are so few boomers that are just willing to step back and say its been disastrous.  

        Just curious, what generation do you blame?  Let's start with the newborns, not much blame there eh?  Let's go up to the kids in college today, how much blame there?  Not too much either eh?  Go to Gen X, well, there is some blame.  They are fairly apathetic and ill-informed and aren't a major voting block.  They were basically sitting by and watching as alot of this happened. But they will soon start coming into federal government key leadership positions and we'll see how much real blame they deserve.

        Then you come to the boomers. The first boomers started voting nearly 50 years ago.  What was the national debt back then?  What shape was social security in then?  Medicare was created early in the boomer voting life but how's it doing now?  We used to have world class infrastructure, how about now?  We've known about "peak oil" since the 1950's, how exactly would you describe our attempt to deal with this issue in the last two or three decades when the boomers have been in power?

        We could obviously go on to talk about the blame of the seniors and we could obviously talk about what the seniors and boomers have done that were good.  But my main point is that I feel that we are driving down a highway and there is a baby crib with my daughter in it.  The Democrats say turn left but the Republicans won't let them, the Republicans so turn right but the Democrats won't let them.  I feel that they are destined to crush my child in damned interminable battle of left and right.

        And then I look at who collectively is driving this car and it sure as hell ain't my generation.  But I do understand how boomers don't feel that they are in charge either.  Most feel powerless, that the government is not under their control and thus don't feel responsible.  I understand that but I do want those in power (primarily boomers) to work together and solve the damn problems.

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

        by theotherside on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 08:48:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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