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June 02, 2006

Learn from British

A short article on Page A-10 on May 26 showed what a democratic government can do when the focus is on solutions instead of politics.

To avert a looming funding crisis as people live longer and have fewer children, the British government unveiled a major overhaul of the state pension system, including an increase of the retirement age and linking benefits to earnings.

The United States has the same problem staring at it.

The future costs of our major entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — are projected to create enormous, unsustainable demands on the federal budget within the foreseeable future. Yet the administration and Congress are unable to work together even to define these and several other major problems, much less solve them.

Doubtless, it took strong leadership and individual courage on the part of the members of the British Parliament to support changes in the highly politicized state pension program.

In the 2006 congressional and 2008 presidential elections, we will have the opportunity to reject special interests and elect candidates who have insight, workable ideas and courage. But without a strong turnout of informed voters, we will have politics as usual.

Jerry Schmidt
Lenexa

Comments

Engineer

jack
Hope others do not get too tired of us fussing. Really, I am unaware of any plans the Democrats have presented for solving the problem. Could you tell me what they are? So far as I have heard, they have kept repeating that there is no problem, at least untill 2040 or some such date. When it all started, the current problems would have been hard to anticipate if anyone had cared to try. The problems are largely due to changes in length of lifespan and other demographics. If people had continued to die off in their late sixties and the work force had kept growing we wouldn't have the problem today.

jack

engineer: I never thought that being "solidly against" one plan equaled being "solidly against" all plans.

I have heard several plans mentioned. Don't necessarily agree with any of them. Only disagree with the expressions I have heard of "It's my way or no way", coming from certain quarters.

And the "my way or no way" folks never seemed to talk about how they were going to cover the huge debts the conversion to their way would cause.

Of course, since the only thing that is going to be important from now to election day is a picture of two guys kissing in front of a court house, I geuss there is no chance of any plan getting through Congress.

Engineer

Haven't we already increased retirement ages and aren't benefits already tied to payments, at least those over the last so many quarters before retirement? Aren't the Democrats solidly against any overhaul of the system?

jack

This is why I believe so strongly in T.A.T.B.O. Throw them out. Throw them all out. Throw them all out every election until they start to deal with what is important instead of just playing games.

UMKCActgStu

JJ:
I think almost everyone on here will agree with you on that!

JUNGLEJACK

I will be shocked if sustainability of social security or any other program is a major issue in upcoming elections.

 
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