June 17, 2013

THE BITTER-CLINGING SECOND WAYERS:

Liberals should lead entitlement reform ( Fred Hiatt, June 16, 2013, Washington Post)

If liberals succeed in blocking any serious entitlement reform during the Obama presidency, as seems increasingly likely, they will have handed conservatives a gift.

One number explains why: 2.7 percent.

That is the share of the national economy that, according to Congressional Budget Office projections, government will spend on non-defense discretionary programs 10 years from now. By comparison, this year the country will spend about 4 percent of its gross domestic product on these programs -- a percentage that has held constant over the past half-century. [..]

That's why Obama proposed changes to the Social Security cost-of-living index, designed to protect the vulnerable.

His party rebelled. "Tell the President," Rep. Ed Markey said in a fundraising letter for his Massachusetts Senate campaign. "No Social Security cuts. No exceptions." The liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) denounced the president's modest entitlement reforms as "enormous concessions without any promise whatsoever from the president's political adversaries that they will reciprocate." [...]

The rational progressive policy would be to support entitlement reform while there is a progressive in the White House to ensure the most vulnerable recipients are not harmed.

Otherwise, liberals can pat themselves on the back for "saving Social Security" as less and less money flows to other programs that they prize. Small-government conservatives won't have to do anything but stand aside and applaud.

Posted by at June 17, 2013 5:29 AM
  

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