Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We need to disengage!

In regards to my own debt woes, Jonathan aptly pointed out that I should consider the disastrous tax effects of the upcoming Clinton II administration (does it bother anyone else that her presidency would mean that two families occupied the White House for a quarter century?). Tim, chimed in noting that we have to find some way to pay for the war (the legality or illegality of which I am not prepared to discuss).

And while the cost of the war is considerable and causes me great worry (not least of all because of the proposal to impose a War Surtax), but there is an even bigger monkey on our fiscal backs: The elderly.

Robert J. Samuelson in the Washington Post today notes that
From 2000 to 2030, the 65-and-over population will roughly double, from 35 million to 72 million, or from about 12 percent of the population to nearly 20 percent. Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- three big programs that serve the elderly -- already represents more than 40 percent of the federal budget. In 2006, these three programs cost $1.1 trillion, more than twice defense spending. Left on automatic pilot, these programs are plausibly projected to grow to about 75 percent of the present budget by 2030. [emphasis added]
So forget about the paltry War on Terror, our War on Death is costing us more than twice as much, and it is exepected only to get more expensive. Add to that the drive for Universal Health Care, and we can expect those elderly to live even longer. Once the Death tax comes back, these longer living seniors are going to use up their estates instead of leave it to us younger, better looking descendants. The picture is dire indeed.

Analogizing from our dear Speaker's remarks regarding the war on terror, we have only three choices to avoid these staggering deficits:
  1. Institute a draft. It is politically inviable to force people to be nursing home attendants. I have always opposed this measure
  2. Tax our people to support this program, so the true cost hits home. I always and with all my might oppose any tax increases whatsoever
  3. End our engagement with the War on Death because it is too costly.
As I am sure you can guess, I support the third option with regard to Social Security just like Nanny Pelosi supports it with regard to the war. We must systematically stop spending money on extending the lives of these far less productive members of our society. No more Social Security (you didn't save to eat in your retirement, too bad!), nor more Medicare or Medicaid (you are old and about to die anyway).*

Oh you aren't willing to do that to save on our deficit problems? Then please don't use the rhetoric of the fiscal conservative as a rationale to end the war.

*Please note: my actual suggestions for Social Security are not so draconian as those above, but I suggest them to make a point.

Note further: I do actually see the distinction between funding a campaign that creates death and has little to do with national interests anymore and a program that purportedly enhances the quality of life of certain citizens of this country. But you will forgive me if I am a little resentful at the prospect spending most of my working career funding the retirement of a generation that perfected the art of living beyond their means. I'll gladly stop whining once I am allowed opt out, which I promptly will.


Tim in Italy said...

Were you drunk when you wrote this?

Let me say that as a 45 y/o prone to near debilitating boredom just taking a shower, I will no doubt be working well into my 70's, maybe even my 80's and so will not be taking any food out of your poutty little mouth. I hope that eases your anxiety somewhat. And if I find myself suddenly diagnosed with an unexpected catastrophic illness, I'll off myself. How's that?

Maybe you should change your blog name from Pink to Scrooge.

Pink Elephant said...

Not drunk, just cranky.

It's important to point out that one of the labels for this post was "sarcastic."

Upon re-reading I see that one may construe my purpose to scold you in particular. I was not, rather I am calling out the Legislators who are all up in arms about the deficit caused by the war while blissfully ignoring the deficit caused by the Social Security shell game.

We have a fiscal disaster looming over us that needs attention before it breaks our backs.

Tim in Italy said...

You've been cranky a lot lately. Someone break your heart or are you just gearing up for another Clinton in the White House? I sincerely hope it's the latter.

So, run for office and put your talent where your mouth is. I'll contribute so long as you promise not to put me in a concentration camp when I turn 65.

Pink Elephant said...

You nailed it! I am trying to brace myself for Madame President.

Oh well, no matter how bad things get, as along as I have Bravo, I'll be all right.