27 December 2012|
The Mayan-predicted End of the World has come and gone. The earth is still rotating on its axis (big surprise there). And now, with just a few days left in the year, our nation’s attention is pulled back to fiscal issues still in need of resolution, all of some importance.
Hopefully, within a week of this blog posting, our elected representatives will do the seemingly unthinkable: work together to solve the Fiscal Cliff and national debt ceiling issues. We’re hoping the fix for these issues is substantial and long-term in nature; a temporary patch would effectively “kick the can down the road” for someone else to solve.
As important as the Fiscal Cliff and debt ceiling issues are, however, they are near term issues of procedure and policy. Soon it will be time to shift the national focus to the broader discussion of defining the desired scope of government: namely social programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
James Surowiecki of The New Yorker offers an interesting historical perspective on Medicare and Social Security in his recent article In Funds We Trust? And to see where this national debate might lead in the coming months and years, Frank Bass of Bloomberg News wrote a short piece on this topic titled: Most Elderly Favor Keeping Social Programs Over Debt Trim. The article is interesting because it highlights the generational shift in thinking on entitlement programs.