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Friday, August 3, 2012

Messing With Bill

Many, including yours truly, have hammered former NYT executive editor and Iraq war hawk Bill Keller for his column this week blaming his fellow Baby Boomers for 1) continuing to breathe and thus threaten to bust the budget with Social Security and Medicare payments and 2) not coming up with solutions to solve this problem, unlike, you know, Simpson and Bowles and the Third Way folks.  Today he at least has the courtesy to present a response from the eminent economist James K. Galbraith, although he also says he continues to back the Third Way--and tries to rebut Galbraith by inviting one of their advocates to reply.  But Galbraith carries the day.  One main point: "On the budget, you go on to assert that 'the arithmetic simply doesn’t work.'  If you mean that the federal fiscal position is unsustainable – a widely-held view – you are again misinformed."

Another nugget from Galbraith: "Raising the 'retirement age' is just a benefit cut for these, most vulnerable, lowest-paid workers – especially those who take the option because they are already unemployed. It’s the cruelest and most dishonestly-presented of all so-called Social Security 'reforms.'  I would strongly urge you to repudiate it."  Don't hold your breath, folks.

1 comment:

raquel said...

We were not self-made "men" -- government made us. Our generation claims it was self-made. In reality we benefited from an economy that invested in infrastructure and cheap college educations. Once we got ours we elected a-holes that pulled up the ladder on our behalf and screwed the next generation. The national debt has increased 15-fold since 1980, almost entirely during Republican Administrations because we take the benefits and won't pay the taxes.