Today, that is an oxymoron. We all know that politicians, even those who mean well, sometimes make promises they can't keep. It is a sad fact of life that, to get elected, they make promises that they just can't deliver on once elected. But we, as Americans, expect them to make promises: bigger this, better that, or more of everything. We expect our politicians to make our lives better than it was the last election cycle (this time, that won't be hard). But have they been misleading us just to get elected? Whose fault is it that they are forced to make promises that in reality we know can't be forefilled? Why can't politicians just be honest with us?
The following is a fictitious news conference held with both a Democratic and Republican candidate present. Although unreal, it has more honesty in it than I've heard from any candidate so far.
Q: Mr. Republican candidate you have been promising to continue the Bush tax cuts and even expand them to help our economy. How are we going to pay for that?
A: Well, I've thought about it and come to the conclusion that it is actually impossible to do that. As a matter of fact, we are going to have to immediately implement a large tax increase on the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations, and a phased tax increase on rest of the American people.
A: We, as a nation, are going bankrupt and are spending Billions more each month than we receive in taxes. We just can't afford it now.
Q: Mr. Democratic candidate, you have been promising universal health care for everyone in this country, how are we going to pay for that?
A: Well, while that has been, and will always be, our goal I've thought about it and come to the conclusion that at this time it is impossible to do that. As a matter of fact, we are going to have to begin a phased reduction in the current Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benifits to our seniors.
A: We, as a nation, have made promises to our seniors that we just don't have the money to pay for. We just can't afford it now.
Can anyone ever imagine a news conference where the above questions and responses took place? NO...well me neither, but as far from the truth as it may sound, that is actually a news conference that our current candidates should be having.
on entitlements while Peterson group I think is showing alarming numbers, I do not think the answer is reduced benefits.
Look at this Instapopulist We don't need no Stinkin' Single Payer Health Care.
Now look at the graph on costs. That's the problem, in addition to incredible inefficiencies. Wall Street loves Medicaid/Medicare and say so because they can make huge profits stiffing the government. The key is to stop these profit predators in our health care system.
It's clear almost every other nation has do just that and they have better health care than the United States.
Just because the facts of American going broke are there does not mean one has to privatize social security or deny people health care.
Corporate welfare denial might be a good place to start to reduce the deficit. How about a $3T Iraq war American cannot afford and we're not even getting any oil out of it.
Also, watch out because those privatization of social security, reduce benefits of social programs have their own agenda. One is wall street, they would make massive profits if part of social security went into Wall Street and also watch out for the private health care industry.
As the financial condition of our country
gets worse and worse over the next 30-40 years, I believe it will take BOTH a tax raise and benifit reduction to keep the system solvent. I do not believe tax increases, efficiencies, decrease in military spending..ect will be enough.
I, as much as any Dem, want universal health care, but for the life of me can not get the numbers to add up without reducing benefits also.
Hope I'm wrong
I think you are wrong on that
and the answer is from other nations. Please follow the links in my previous comment. Look at the graph, watch Frontline, dig around in OECD data. It's very clear the US is paying at least 2x as much as any other nation and when you add in the private sector costs, it's Off the charts in comparison.
America is getting ripped off in so many words. Don't let the Milton Friedman create a crisis to privatize much needed social safety nets gain a foot hold.
Check out all of this data and I also wrote some posts on Big pharma too.
I realize that we pay 2x more than any
any other nation. I've seen the charts and the graphs and read the articles. I know we are getting ripped off. Hopefully Obama will take care of that, BUT that has little to do with the systemic degeneration of our entire
social net system.
The problems we face are large and getting larger, but I have never advocated the privatization of any of our social net systems.
But I do believe that benefits will have to be gradually decreased over the next 20-30 years because of the massive costs for medical care for the 77 million baby boomers that are just now beginning to retire. Under no circumstances can we pay for the future promises we've made to our seniors using the current economic plans of either candidate.
We are the largest debtor nation in the world with an economy that is going further down the tubes with every passing day. We can't sustain enough growth, eliminate enough waste, or increase enough taxes to get us out of the upcoming mess.
The current world financial / banking problems are but a symptom of the much broader financial problem that our nation faces. Foreign countries are beginning to see that our financial house of cards is sitting in a very large pit of quick sand.
As the fed attempts to shore up each card, as it falls, foreign investors are losing faith in the basic structure of our current and future economy.
I heard someone say the other night that the world has, for so long, depended upon the USA's economic engine that they continue to cling to it hoping that it will, once again, save the world, BUT more and more those people are beginning to see that they are actually running as fast as they can into a burning building.
They are therefore beginning to shift those assets away from the USA and into other markets. How long is it going to be before there is a wholesale saleoff of our Treasury Bonds.
Then what the heck are we going to do? That problem can not be solved by any one party or even by both parties, by cutting a few expenditrures here or saving a few bucks there.
I truely believe we have a minimum of a $53 Trillion dollar unfunded debt waiting for us in the near future. This amount is so large that funding SS, Medicare, Medicaid or anything else (in part or whole) is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Please excuse me if I don't care whether Barack or McCain can solve immediate problems with our social net systems, because whatever they do will be overwhelmed by the financial problems we face in the very near future.
and the reason I disagree is:
1. costs for the US are way, way beyond 2x. So you have no idea what those budgets would be if health care was no longer for profit
2. social security needs to be made progressive which will also reduce costs
3. competitiveness. Other nations are more competitive for jobs because they have single payer health care. This is about 20% of operating costs for companies in the US. Get jobs in the US and "Unfunded" is reduced considerably.
4. other costs. Healthy people reduce a lot of other costs from disability insurance to productivity to the need for long term care.
So, one simply doesn't know how "unfunded" they are unless all of these are reformed.
Absolutely not should social safety nets be reduced. Not until they get the corporations, insurance companies and big pharma out of the picture and reduce those costs.
Only then would you know if there was a problem in terms of unfunded liabilities.
The economic plans of both candidates are both corporate generated, so of course it won't work but that's not their intent to work. Neither one would consider true single payer health care or even the Swiss system. But if someone came along and did the right thing, in the national interest, this would be the way to go.
Come on, one can look at EU generally, they are all aging and no where near projected to have such problems nor is anyone claiming one must screw over seniors or deny health care or social benefits and the reason is they control their costs through the system itself.
You cannot tell me if Japan, Canada, England, France and so on can do it somehow the US can't and just has to screw over it's citizens.
That's pure kool-aid and also does not add up by the numbers.
It's also the same line of panic spewed out by various special interests who really, really want to get social security funds into Wall Street where they would make huge profits on privatization and the same with health care.
You can turn on CNBC and any day listen to how stable and profitable some health care sector company is. the "unfunded liabilities" line is sure funding wall street.
Only time will tell (n/t)
a good spreadsheet and policy based on those numbers would tell. Time is going to get more corporate written bills and agenda.
you do realize
when Walker and others talk about reduce liabilities they are not speaking against H.R. 676 or single payer health and so on? In the Friday Night Video segment on I.O.U.S.A. I link up to their Q&A and what they are talking about is overall costs. The Heritage foundation, with their privatization agenda will have you believe that, but that's not what they are advocating as the solution to reduce costs at all.