Friday, December 7, 2012

War on the Young - Democrats and Republicans are punishing America's future

Whatever reforms they produce, the debt negotiations will fundamentally alter the future relationship between the federal government and younger Americans. In short, under-35 Americans will have to work substantially longer, pay more tax and will receive less benefits in retirement. In part this evolution is unavoidable - demographic and economic realities mean that major changes to the social-government contract are needed. However, young Americans should not have to repair our sinking national ship alone. The need for balanced sacrifice makes intellectual sense – it helps us find the minimum $4 trillion+ ten year trend savings we need, but it also it makes moral sense- our national psyche is embedded in a notion of shared sacrifice in pursuit of common national interests. Unfortunately at the moment at least, ‘shared balance’ is a phrase that neither Democrats nor Republicans have any interest in hearing.

The Democrats seemingly have little interest in serious entitlement reforms - they believe that the rich can somehow pay down the debt without necessary structural reforms to Medicare. As this video illustrates, a ludicrous presumption. On the flip side, Republicans only want to reform entitlements for those over 55. And while both parties argue that their positions are reflective of ‘fairness’, nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s Medicare beneficiaries will receive an average of three times the amount that they paid in. This reaches into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per person. And the money has to come from somewhere. Where better than from young Americans who lack the AARP style organization to mount a meaningful political resistance? 

Young Americans didn't build the national debt and we shouldn't have to bear the weight of its relief.

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