Belmont Club

It takes a village

Pajamas TV describes the coming Social Security train wreck. “The friendly folks who in Washington, DC who dole out the entitlement checks delivered some bad news for everybody under 38 years old. There won’t be money for them when they turn 65. But the government still expects them to pay taxes.” Enlarging on the same theme, the Washington Examiner talks about the “gathering storm on Social Security and Medicare”.

Medicare ran out of cash to pay for hospital benefits last year and now these costs are covered by the U.S. Treasury. By 2017, according to the trustees, Medicare will have exhausted all of its trust funds. Social Security will run dry in 2016. The approach of these doomsdays has accelerated in the past year because of the slow economy and the refusal of Washington politicians in both parties to face reality.

No need to worry. What’s the problem? Just cut “unnecessary defense spending” and raise taxes. And fund cap and trade to save the earth, spend trillions for the stimulus package, provide aid to Hamas in Gaza, help Pakistan solve its basic problems and pay the past due obligations to the UN. The future is bright. The reviewers of the recently released movie Star Trek at the Times Online wrote: “gone is the gloom of the last Star Trek film, Nemesis (2002), which seemed cast in the depressing shadow of George Bush’s post-9/11 America. The prequel, though conceived before the rise of Barack Obama, taps into the optimism of his presidency.” Maybe this movie was closer to the mark.

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“It was reasonable to struggle, to suffer, perhaps even to die, for a more just, a more compassionate society, but not in a world with no future where, all too soon, the very words ‘justice,’ ‘compassion,’ ‘society,’ ‘struggle,’ ‘evil,’ would be unheard echoes on an empty air.”


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