"Promises to transcend the conundrums of entitlement reform that require real and painful trade-offs and that have eluded solution for a generation. Promises to fund his other promises by a rapid withdrawal from an unpopular war" Charles KrauthammerDavid Seaton's News Links
The quote above encapsulates the central political question of the United States and it is a question that will quite literally affect the entire world.
"Entitlement reform"... These two words are one of those American euphemisms like "collateral damage", which, in this case, is used to describe reducing pensions and health care for the aged.
The sad news is that there isn't enough money to pay for the empire and to pay the coming pensions of the "boomers". (full disclosure: I am not in the US pension system, I have been working in Spain and paying into its system. This is not about me). Chalmers Johnson describes the situation best:
"It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military. The Department of Defense's planned expenditures for fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations' military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China. Defense-related spending for fiscal 2008 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in history. The United States has become the largest single salesman of arms and munitions to other nations on Earth. Leaving out of account President Bush's two on-going wars, defense spending has doubled since the mid-1990s. The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is the largest since World War II."Something's got to give.
I doubt if it's going to be the old folks.
The codgers vote.
We have been hearing for years how selfish the boomers are. Get ready to see it in action. After all, we are talking about the "generation of '68".
One of the things that has irritated me most about Obama's "Children's Crusade" has been his supporters' criticism of the senior's lack of enthusiasm for his vaporous rhetoric, as if the elderly were holding back "progress".
As I read the tea leaves, the ones truly manning the ramparts in the battle against imperialism are America's elderly. The fight to pauperize America's elderly in order to pay for more missiles is the central political story of our time. DS