OK, I don’t get it. Well, yes I do. I just don’t like it! Why is everyone freaking out over the Bowles-Simpson proposals?
As a country we are facing one of the greatest financial challenges since the Great Depression. Our financial system is dominated by a handful of companies. Our large companies march to the drum set by Wall Street. A drum that is not necessarily conducive to their success in providing long-term results. We have an extremely large deficit, and there is an entitlement system (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) which will acerbate the situation over the next 10-15 years as those darn Baby Boomers (that’s me!) start retiring.
Yet, no one in Congress (either side of the aisle) is willing to bite the bullet and say that Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have it right. Maybe not perfect, but it’s a start. We have to cut expenses, reduce entitlements (all of them), and dare I say it, raise taxes. We are in uncharted territory and continuing on the false pretences that we can reduce the size of government and not cut taxes, or increase taxes and increase the size of government is a pipe dream. Our political parties (and their constituents) have to understand that economic/social legislation which may have been preferred in the past, will not work going into the future.
I’m concerned that as a country we are not willing to make the difficult and painful choices which are necessary for long-term stability. It’s a form of the NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard – syndrome. As long as my ox is not gored – and yours takes one for the team, that’s cool. But don’t ask me to put off my instant gratification so our country will be in better shape tomorrow than it is today.
OK, I’m getting off my soap box. I think I feel a bit better, but I’ll close with one of my favorite quotations — “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” – Pogo/Walt Kelly