This month, the first baby boomers turn age 65. Somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 people a day are going to be entering retirement for the next 15 years. I think this should result in a change in press coverage that will reduce confusion and save valuable ink and paper.
Current coverage: Congressman Alltalk today said he would balance the federal budget without touching Social Security and Medicare, noting his opposition to the mohair subsidy, the X9 kill-em-all fighter plane and Department of Education grants to the states. The mohair subsidy was created in blah blah blah and does blah blah blah blah, the X9 fighter plane is supposed to blah blah blah but in tests hasn’t been able to blah blah blah, and Education Department grants to the states fund blah blah blah and are strongly supported by Governors like blah blah and blah blah but have their critics including blah blah blah blah blah.
New Proposed Coverage: Congressman Alltalk said he would balance the federal budget without touching Social Security and Medicare, which is impossible.
Variant of New Proposed Coverage: Senator Feelgood said she would balance the budget without touching Social Security, Medicare, Defense, Veterans programs, or Homeland Security, which is even more impossible than doing so without touching the first two.
Yes, I know there is silly and wasteful federal spending and I give goo-goo points to journalists who keep track of that. But fundamentally, to delve deeply into details of all the proposed list of cuts that have circulated in Washington for decades is to facilitate the spreading of a lie, namely that we don’t have any extremely hard choices in front of us.
We are going to have more people retired than we ever have had in U.S. history, at a time when life expectancy at age 65 is as high as it ever has been. We can have a massive tax increase or we can cut entitlements for the elderly or we can do some of both. But whatever we do it’s gonna hurt, and every moment we spend on mohair instead of acting like grown ups is going to make our ultimate suffering even greater.