July 31, 2012 · 0 Comments
By Charles P. Pierce:
Those of us — like me and Newt Gingrich — who thought the SuperCommittee was a stupid idea, and who also recall that the now-fetishized Simpson-Bowles “plan” couldn’t even muster enough support within the S-B commission to be presented to the Congress, still live in dread that a Grand Bargain is out there, growing big and strong in the mist-shrouded terrarium in which our political elites do their business. On Monday, Bill Keller, who never will have to worry for a moment how much that MRI will cost that his doctor says he really needs, wrote a truly loathsome column in which he advised “greedy” baby-boomers like me to abandon our mooching ways and cast off the freedom-stifling shackles of our minimal social safety net, for the good of the country, y’unnerstan’? Quoth the old boss:
The Republican plan espoused by Mitt Romney and his fiscal lodestar Paul Ryan would cut the cost of entitlements largely by moving toward privatization: personal investment accounts for Social Security, vouchers for Medicare. And it’s not at all clear the Republicans would assign any of the savings to investing in our future. At least the Republicans have a plan. The Democrats generally recoil from the subject of entitlements. Centrists like those at Third Way and the bipartisan authors of the Simpson-Bowles report endorse a menu of incremental cuts and reforms that would bring down costs without hitting the needy or snatching away the security blanket from those nearing retirement.
This is a man speaking fluent terrarium right there. I defy Bill Keller to last a week living only on those benefits available to the greedy boomers, especially after the Simpson-Bowles cargo cult — to say nothing of the zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan himself — are through with them. I defy him to make it for a day. The “we” sprinkled throughout this bag of pus is probably the most noxious thing about it. Look around, Bill. You and Mitt Romney have far more in common than do you and the overwhelming majority of your “fellow” boomers. One catastrophic illness, and many of our families die on the vine. This is not hyperbole. This is how it works in the world. And, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Keller signs on with the clowns at Third Way, who assure us that the real problem is that the elderly moochers are the ones keeping us from building new bridges, or flying to the moons of Neptune. Jesus H. Christ on a Lipizzaner, we’ve had forty years of demonized government, and 40 years of quack economics, and tax-cuts until hell won’t have them, and the reason our infrastructure is falling apart is because some retired ironworker gets $1200 a month? How much of a courtier do you have to be before the taste of caviar makes you nauseous?
If we want to invest in infrastructure, which we desperately need to do, then we should just borrow money at the current historically low rates and fix the damn infrastructure. Put people to work. Give them money to spend because, as we know, the only sensible reaction to foolishness like this is Fk The Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money. Bill Keller never will have to worry about the last two, so I think he should shut up about the first.