Its a piece in Salon by James Galbraith titled The coming debt battle
The coming debt battleGalbraith talks about how the Right (Big Money) has been trying to kill Social Security ever since 1935. He looks at how entitlements like Social Security and Medicare have been woven into America's social and economic fabric for decades.
Citing a phony "crisis," the GOP wants to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Democrats can't let them
That the looming debt and deficit crisis is fake is something that, by now, even the most dim member of Congress must know. The combination of hysterical rhetoric, small armies of lobbyists and pundits, and the proliferation of billionaire-backed front groups with names like the “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget” is not a novelty in Washington. It happens whenever Big Money wants something badly enough.
In fact it’s not possible; the CBO’s deficits are driven mainly by assumptions about healthcare costs and interest rates that cannot happen. Healthcare cannot rise indefinitely as a share of GDP (and may have already stopped rising). And if interest rates returned to what CBO thinks of as normal the underlying economy would collapse. Luckily for us, the Federal Reserve won’t do that. CBO should revise its assumptions; if it did, the scare forecasts would go away.Please read the whole article, its well worth it. I also hope they read this in the White House and President Obama sees it.
Do we have budget problems? Yes: We spend too much on military hardware and wars; the talent, materials and technologies that go into that are wasted and cannot be used, say, to protect New York from storm surge. Our rich build too many mansions, thanks to their CEO incomes and their low tax rates; letting the Bush tax cuts expire will usefully dent that purchasing power.
But Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid impose no such future burdens. They are transfers in current time. They meet today’s commitments to seniors, survivors, dependents, the disabled and the ill – commitments they have earned through work – providing them with income and services at the expense of others also currently alive. This any community can always do, to the full extent of its will and resources. The future has nothing to do with it. Except that, from a moral point of view, it’s useful for the young to learn that we are a community, in which working people take care of those who can’t.
And that is what the Objectivists in Congress cannot stand. Our sense of community is an obstacle to their power. And what they are determined to destroy, we must defend.