Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Real Face of Change

"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 Krauthammer
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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


Andre said...

Well, I'm a retiree with the Federal Civil Service Retirement System. Almost everybody I known my age (64) or older do not like Obama. And it doesn't seem to be the result of his perception of entitlements. I have never listen to him speak (believe it or not), only once listened to Hillary, and never Edwards. I don't 'do' TV. Originally I was behind Edwards, but I voted last week in the primary for Hillary.

I really don't give a rat's ass about all three of them, but I do care deeply that there are children in this country who do not have health care. Any death is a tragedy, but the death of a child is an unspeakable tragedy. Obama may be a harbinger of "new politics" but if we don't get every child in this country on some kind of health care, "new politics" means shit! Nothing Obama has done gives me any assurances he can deliver health care to all children without it. Indeed, from what I can see, getting health insurance for every child isn't on his radar. New politics and his crusade just doesn't compute as far as getting every child health care.

Hillary has failed on health care reform once. Her talk after New Hampshire , IMO, showed she is capable of getting a message and taking it to heart, and I think it is quite obvious that children without health care is on her radar, just from the fact that she tried it once. But her persistence in that endeavour, and in the present campaign also, tells me that the next time she will bring health care for every child in this country. What also gives indication about her is that she has adjusted her healthcare goal towards more certain universality after certain facts about her original plan were brought to her attention.

I have no way of measuring Obama's persistence. In fact what I take away from his performance is that he's trying to demonstrate how many people he can get into his movement, not how we can reach some of our long delayed goals. Dare I say it's almost a game for him?

Really, Obama isn't worth shit unless we can get to this health care goal, and all my friends on the left should get a clue about that. I'm a very liberal guy, but I have given up on the left blogosphere and on the liberal radio because every one of them have lost their minds. For crissakes, they should quit listening to the guy and start thinking about what were trying to get to as liberals. At this point, a liberal Congress could make Hillary another FDR, but it will be lost on Obama because he will be too taken up with trying to make nice with the opposition, and how many people he can win over to his movement.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

My sentiments exactly.
¡OlĂ© tus cojones!

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David Seaton's Newslinks said...

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