Will They Touch The Political Third Rail?
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Posted by J. J. Jackson @ 3:36 PM
That's the question on my mind going into tonight's debate. Will either Kerry or Bush admit that we have to end the entitlement mentality of Americans (ie. Social Security, Medicare, etc) as we know it with the coming Baby Boomer bulge set for around 2008?
Both are proposing new spending on health care. Bush is at about $90-$100 billion (read actual cost $400 billion) and Kerry is at about $600 billion (read $1.2 TRILLION! actual cost) and seem to be oblivious to where the money for this PLUS the money to pay for the Boomers as they retire.
The political third rail as it is called will probably be avoided because of the greediness of Americans who somehow think that programs like SSI are supposed to be retirement funds when in reality it was purposefully designed to never be paid out to people in the way that it is today. The average life expectancy of males when it was instituted was about 60 and the age to get benefits was 65. Now the average life expectancy is 72 or so.
The problem is that SSI was never meant to be an entitlement for retirement but rather an insurance program to give to widows that survived their husbands. But now, too many of our seniors and even more of the upcoming Boomers plan to retire on SSI and took little initiative to save their own money.
So touching SSI and Medicare will surely kill the politician that does so. Even though it is the right thing for America. Hopefully President Bush will come out and support the Fair Tax which would enable us to fix some of the problems by exploding the economy and government revenues. But I somehow doubt that he will.
But in 2008 ... the third rail will be unavoidable and I predict a swift defeat for which ever conservative candidate is thrown up there because unlike the socialist left who will continue to ignore the problem until it is well beyond too late, they will hopefully stand up and make it an issue. Even if it means political suicide.
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