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.