I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop myself from wondering how it is that this particular gentleman came to be the majority leader, of the Senate, of the United States of America. …The mind reels. From the WashTimes:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will not allow changes in Social Security to be part of the negotiations to avoid a federal budget fiscal cliff, further narrowing the opportunities for savings that could be tapped to close the deficit.
Republicans have insisted that big entitlement programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid be part of the end-of-year negotiations to head off tax-rate increases and the $110 billion in automatic spending cuts. …
“Social Security is not part of the problem, That’s one of the myths the Republicans have tried to create,” he said. “Social Security is sound for the next many years. But we want to make sure that in the outer years people are protected also, but it’s not going to be part of the budget talks, as far as I’m concerned.” …
“I’m giving you my personal feelings about where we need to go. Take care of the middle class and have the richest of the rich contribute a little bit to helping our economy,” he said.
Let me repeat that. “Social Security is not part of the problem.” Er, actually, these gigantic and growing entitlement programs are the main drivers of our ever-increasing $16 trillion national debt, and Social Security is not a crisis waiting to happen. It’s a crisis that is happening, right now, everyday — and it’s not like ‘nobody could have seen this coming’ or anything. We’ve utterly failed to reform Social Security up until now, and we’re expected to put aside this death spiral because we’ve got a few debt-accumulating years to go before it collapses? Nevermind that I and my peers are paying gobs into a system that will absolutely not be there for us, nor that taxing the “richest of the rich” amounts to less than a drop in the bucket of achieving fiscal sustainability.
Ugh, those vexing Republicans. Always trying to make actual problems the target of the solutions, or whatever.
If we’re being real, it’s true that, most unfortunately, real long-term solutions to our problems will likely not constitute a chunk of whatever fiscal-cliff agreement does or does not go down — but good grief, does he have to be so flippant about it? Or is ‘denial’ not just a river in Egypt?
And, just for good measure, I’ll throw in this recent gem: “[Scott Brown] is one of the most partisan people that ever served here.” …Says the most bipartisan Senate leader, evah. (And yes, he was referring to this Scott Brown.) Dan Doherty’s got the facts on that one.