Friday, January 21, 2005

Shameless Semantics

Click here for AmazonThe eloquent David Limbaugh points out the stunning hypocrisy of the left on yet another front: social security. We all remember the day -- actually only a few years ago -- that Bill Clinton and Al Gore pointed to its problematic financial footing. Gore, as recently as 2000, lectured George W. Bush on the dangers represented by its fading strength.

Therefore, if we were dealing in intellectual honesty and not partisan chicanery, Bush would receive credit from both sides for his willingness to tackle the "third rail" problem. For, as Limbaugh points out, he could easily have avoided the problem for another four years without any risk whatsoever.

Now the left is denying that social security is even in trouble. The troubling facts, however, remain: in less than 15 years, demographic shifts will ensure that there are less workers than needed to support the number of retirees.

Beginning in 2018, absent major reform, the federal government will have to tap general revenues to subsidize its Social Security benefit payments, eventually in staggering amounts approaching $10 trillion. A compounding factor is that the Social Trustees report estimates that we will lose $600 billion for every year we ignore the problem. Yet this isn't a serious enough issue to demand our immediate attention?

How many times have we heard Democrats -- latter-day deficit hawks that they are -- rail against President Bush's deficit spending? How many times have they feigned apoplexy over the spiraling national debt?

Well, folks, they must not mean what they say, because this looming Social Security problem is purely and simply about an inevitable explosion of the national debt. It's only avoidable if we reduce benefits, reduce other federal spending and/or raise taxes -- which at some point will be counterproductive on the revenue side.

Whether you call it a problem or a crisis, it is getting worse, and it's nothing short of immoral to put off working on solutions. The only conceivable reasons Democrats are in denial about it is that they either don't want to allow reform under a Republican president or don't want to fix it at all because they might lose one of the main weapons in their fear-mongering arsenal.

David Limbaugh: Shameless semantics

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