Skip to comments.Entitlement Reforms (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 08/27/2012 3:16:10 PM PDT by jazusamo
For those of us who like to believe that human beings are rational, trying to explain what happens in politics can be a real challenge.
For example, that segment of the population that has the least to fear from a reform of Medicare or Social Security is the most fearful namely, those already receiving Medicare or Social Security benefits.
It is understandable that people heavily dependent on these programs would fear losing their benefits, especially after a lifetime of paying into these programs. But nobody in his right mind has even proposed taking away the benefits of those who are already receiving them.
Yet opponents of reforming these programs have managed repeatedly to scare the daylights out of seniors with wild claims and television ads such as one showing someone who looks somewhat like Paul Ryan pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair toward a cliff and then dumping her over.
There are people who take seriously such statements as those by President Barack Obama that Republicans want to "end Medicare as we know it."
Let's stop and think, if only for the novelty of it. If you make any change in anything, you are ending it "as we know it." Does that mean that everything in the status quo should be considered to be set in concrete forever?
If there were not a single Republican, or none who got elected to any office, arithmetic would still end "Medicare as we know it," for the simple reason that the money in the till is not enough to keep paying for it. The same is true of Social Security.
(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...
That's classic Sowell right there.
God love him! May he live 120 healthy, happy years.
He’s our very best mind.
Yes it is, I love it.
He sure is, Onyx.
Glad to see you have a little spare time now to FReep, thanks again to you all. :-)
I can honestly say, I believe Thomas Sowell is the smartest man on the face of the earth.
My nominee as well.
I’m very grateful to have spare time. Thanks to all our awesome FReepers like you!
You’re both right and I concur! He has that added rare ingredient called “common sense”!
That is the basic problem in the United States as well.
Said another way, a politician promised my neighbor that I would by him a new car.
When the neighbor finds out that I don't have the funds to buy him a new car, he gets angry at me and calls the politician to tell him that I am not in compliance with their agreement.
The press is called in to portray me as a callous, cold hearted bastard, after which the IRS comes in and throws me in jail for not "paying my fair share", and then proceeds to sell all of my goods and property to make good on the politicians promise.
The effect is that I am in jail and my family is left homeless and penniless. I don't expect the press will cover that little fact.
Well, I don’t know. I’ve been reliably informed by some of my Dem friends and family members that all we have to do is tax the bejeesus out of the wealthy. Yes, tax them at the 99% rate. Then after all the filthy rich producers and entrepreneurs are gone overseas (taking their businesses with them), we’ll have plenty of money to fund Cadillac retirement for everybody. Hey, is that lemon meringue pie I see in the sky?
Rather than saying Sowell is the “smartest” man alive I prefer to call him the “wisest.” Your tagline, suggests you’d agree. He might qualify on both counts, but since the death of his mentor, Milton Friedman, he’s certainly the wisest.
Agree with all your points, well said.
He’s our brilliant voice crying in the wilderness. No one is going to touch entitlements, other than to kick the can down the road.
That’s the way our politicians have been conditioned. Let “George” do it later so I can keep getting elected now and until I feel like retiring.
Dr. Sowell needs some power to go along with his wonderful opinions. Here’s hoping some smart Republican gives him a cabinet position before it’s too late for us all.
Most politicians not only won't touch the entitlement problem but won't even discuss it honestly as Dr. Sowell mentioned, they throw out the scare tactics.
I seriously doubt Dr. Sowell would accept a position in Washington as I already mentioned but I believe it's possible he would counsel if asked. Even that would be help to Romney or his administration after being elected but it's probably too much to hope for his counsel to be sought.
Because TS isn't a scum sucking ruling class politician.
Sigh... You’re right.
If we don’t get a grip on the runaway entitlements, events will take their course - and it won’t be pretty!
Raise taxes, reduce benefits or a combo of the two. Them's the solutions. Sowell is a coward for writing an essay on the problem but not showcase the inevitable solution.
Another classic from Dr. Sowell. Thanks for the ping jaz.
You see lemon meringue, I see Key Lime! :-) No wait, it's not a pie at all, it's a boulder!! Run for your lives!!!!!
Buying your neighbor a car is a good analogy.
Hannity had a different one last night. He asked Juan Williams: if Ms Flack came up to him and asked him for $100 so she could buy birth control pills ... would he give it to her? Then why should Hannity buy her birth control pills.
Juan replied that it was society’s obligation because birth control pills help reduce cancer.
Hannity’s answer was ... if each person in society said they did not want to buy her birth control pills, what gives the government the right to do it anyway?