Friday, May 13, 2005

Wanted: fire and fiddle, reply to White House

A good bit of writing here from Xpatriated Texan over at Old Town Review:

While President Bush zooms around on Air Force One, talking to pre-screened crowds about his plans for Social Security, blithely ignoring the reality that Americans hate his ideas, he is totally ignoring the real emergency in America’s Social Safety Net.

If you look at the latest report from the Medicare Trustees ( (sorry, I can't get it to work as a link). I’ll summarize for you: Medicare is in deep doo-doo. Let me hype some hysteria before I save the universe.

The DI (Disability Income) portion of the fund will begin paying out more than it takes in no later than the year – wait for it – 2007. The HI (Hospital Insurance) portion will last a full three years later and begin losing money in 2010. The worst case scenario is that both will be flat broke by 2012. However, they are supposed to last until 2023 and 2025 respectively.

To me, burning very expensive jet fuel in Air Force One to run around playing Chicken Little about Social Security while totally ignoring Medicare is tantamount to auditioning for the role of Nero. All we need is a fire and a fiddle.


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