Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sen. Schumer announces War on Seniors

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out and told Republicans to put Medicare reform where the sun don’t shine.

Schumer was criticizing the nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. In a mild statement, he said “It’s clear that Washington Republicans are plotting a war on seniors next year.”

Wait! I thought that kind of rhetoric was considered to be exclusionary and divisive! Almost as divisive as President-elect Trump saying that people should be put in jail for burning the flag.

But then there is the Ohio State axe-man Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a legal immigrant from Somalia. He was forced to act because of Islamophobia.

Just saying, but could there be a problem with liberals running around accusing conservatives and Republicans of various “phobias?” Could they be riling up simple-minded young people to imagine themselves as helpless victims and provoke them to acts of violence?

And by the way, when you talk about “phobias” -- homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia -- you are implying that the people in question are sick; you are medicalizing a political disagreement. And that means that you are one step away from putting your political opponents into a sanatorium for psychiatric treatment, just like the Soviets used to do.

But back to Chuck Schumer. He doesn’t like that the Republicans, under Reps. Ryan and Price, want to “privatize” Medicare. Says Chuck:
Between this nomination of an avowed Medicare opponent, and the House Republicans threatening to privatize Medicare, it is clear that Washinton Republicans are plotting a War in Seniors next year.
I was reading some pundit the other day who noted that while House Republicans like Paul Ryan want to reform the senior entitlements they are wrong to advance these reforms until Democrats are willing to sign on. President-elect Trump is opposed to Social Security reform.

I agree. It is useless to propose reform of entitlements until Democrats are on board.

But I do wonder about the Democrats. Don’t they understand that down the road the entitlements will run out of money, and that in the ensuing Venezuela-like debacle minorities and women will be hardest hit?

And here is another idea. Maybe I shouldn’t advertise it, because it might give people ideas.

If you go to usgovernmentspending.com you will see that Government Pensions and Government Healthcare add up to 42 percent of government spending. Imagine that we privatized the middle-class portion of that, and let’s imagine that the remaining program would be the same as the current welfare budget of 7 percent of spending.

Do you see what that means? It means that 35 percent of the current spending would be available for lovely new programs!

According to economist Milton Friedman all governments tax as much as they can get away with. I imagine that they spend as much as they can without wrecking the economy right away. So if Republicans succeeded in privatizing Social Security and Medicare they would also free up fiscal space for other programs.

And that would be a bad idea until the day that Americans decide that the current rate of spending at 36 percent of GDP and the current rate of taxation at 37 percent of GDP are both outrages and not to be endured.

People don’t seem to realize that when the government taxes the nation at 37 percent of GDP it means that the government is taking 37 cents of every dollar that people earn and spending it on its supporters, without regard to whether the money is better spent on government supporters rather than goods and services for consumers.

Or maybe they do know, and they like it, as long as they get a cut.

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