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After Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's maiden speech focused on the critical need for entitlement reform, done on a bipartisan basis, we hoped that this would prompt a new dialog on correcting the bloated programs to stave off the impending finanical crisis they will cause. Today's Washington Post editorial scolds the Democrats for rejecting this promising start for Paulson:
YOU MIGHT THINK that a call from the new Treasury secretary for reform of entitlements would get a respectful hearing from Democrats. If entitlement programs are not reformed, they will squeeze out other spending programs that Democrats care about; they will create a budget crunch that no responsible party could want. But some Democrats do not appear to understand this. Yesterday an e-mail sent out on behalf of Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, dismissed Henry M. Paulson Jr.'s comments on "privatizing" Social Security, adding that this policy has been "soundly rejected by the American people." ...
[T]he idea that the American people rejected Mr. Bush's plan is only half true. The president failed to get traction not least because Democrats were doing their best to scare voters into thinking that their retirement checks would be confiscated.
Pelose wants nothing to do with entitlement reform, rejecting even the thought of discussing it on a bipartisan basis. This ignores the coming burden even if no new benefits get added to Medicare and Social Security. Entitlement spending under current rules will increase the cost of these programs from 8% of GDP currently to 17% of GDP in 2060 -- which is almost the same level as the entire federal budget today.
Democrats apparently don't want to solve problems; they just want to blame and complain. This demonstrates just more of the same. Pelosi and her party want to grab control of Congress with no plan to deal with the largest financial issue facing the United States. If the Republicans have not been perfect on budget and spending -- and they have been far from it -- at least they have the courage to address the problems and try to reach solutions.Sphere It View blog reactions
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