In fairness to Trump, America is many decades deep into its “do stuff and worry about how to pay for it later” stage of decline.
If anything, this $6 billion bribe he’s offering to seniors to try to buy them off on Election Day seems charmingly modest in its magnitude. America’s looming entitlement crisis is really just a mega-trillion-dollar version of this gift-card thing, no?
It made me laugh to think how the idea must have come about, though. If you read this story last weekend, you know that the White House recently spent weeks negotiating with drug companies on a deal that would lower prescription drug costs before the election. That would have been worth $150 billion, a coup for a president who’s scrambling for ways to woo retirees back into his column. They got close to an agreement but then the deal collapsed — allegedly because the White House insisted that it include $100 gift cards funded by the pharmaceutical industry to be sent out to seniors before Election Day. It was, essentially, an out-and-out cash bribe to be paid by a third party in hopes of getting Trump elected.