Today on Meet the Press, Senator Lindsey Graham showed significant political courage by taking a clear and unambiguous stand on reigning in entitlement spending, particularly on Social Security.
“I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long-term debt obligations, starting with Social Security, a real bipartisan effort to make sure that Social Security stays solvent, adjusting the age, looking at means tests for benefits.”
When David Gregory pressed him on whether Republicans would support him in his call for a means-test and age adjustment for Social Security, Graham did not hedge or obfuscate like most politicians. He replied, “Everything’s on the table when it comes to making America fiscally sound.”
Reforming Social Security has become a veritable political shibboleth in American politics, even more so with the imminent retirement of baby boomers. But everyone knows that Social Security will go bankrupt unless government does one or more of the following: 1) increase the retirement age, 2) increase taxes, or 3) reduce benefits.
Senator Graham’s two suggestions are just common sense, but potentially and unfortunately political suicide. People are living longer today than they were in the 1930s and the retirement age should reflect this. Additionally, Social Security was originally intended to act as a social safety net, not as an inter-generational wealth transfer from a younger, poorer generation to an older, wealthier one. There is simply no reason for my generation to be funding Warren Buffett’s retirement.
Bravo, Senator Graham!
Both kensyian and supply side trickle down economics have now been debunked, supply side trickle down debunked by its inceptor David Stockman in his Four Deformations of the Apocolypse and kensyian by virtue of entitlements run amok. Its time for a new direction one of a merger between capitalism and socialism where capitalism runs the market but is regulated against abuse and usurptation by the top 1 % who would steal even more wealth if they were allowed. It is clear the system is broken and if the United States is to co exist in a world where we are no longer the economic dominant superpower we must adopt economic long term planning by government and private industry TOGETHER. Yes it hints at socialism but that is what the future holds. To deny such is only called delusion.
I appreciate your commentary and thank you for spending time on my site.
I tend to agree with you that unfettered capitalism can lead to abuses and that government’s role is to ensure that economy flows efficiently through sparring yet prudent regulation so as to prevent such abuse.
That said, I think the U.S. government is simply too big today. The beauty of capitalism is that if an organization makes bad decisions, it fails. Not so with the government. The government should serve as a check on business, not as an economic engine itself. The government is simply too inefficient to channel dollars into the right places. While capitalism can sometimes be ugly, it is certainly more efficient than government.
Socialism is a failure. It only serves to increase the size of the government and generate never-ending bouts of entitlement programs that threaten a self-destructive spiral of bankrupting dependency. Long-term coordination and planning between government and business is encouraged in some areas (like cyber security, for instance), but should only be done sparingly and only when market inefficiencies exist.