Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm a Big Girl

I can handle bad news - heck, I raised 3 teenagers, I got used to it.

So why is the government trying to keep the bad news about retirement from me?From Ace of Spades HQ
Last month, JP Morgan released what it considers the most comprehensive preliminary estimate. It projects the present value of unfunded health care and other non-pension benefits at between $600 billion and $1.3 trillion.

By comparison, the debt rating agency Standard and Poors estimates the country's total unfunded public pension debt at around $285 billion.

"There's a good chance some government entities are going to go bankrupt," said California Assemblyman Keith Richman, a Republican from Chatsworth. "But the issue isn't just bankruptcy, it's governments dying of a thousand cuts in services. The costs of promises that have been made are going to be astronomical."
This is the way conservative politicians need to come clean with the electorate. They need to say:
Folks, I've got some bad news - we're broke. We wanted to get elected, so we made Grandpa and Grandma some promises we just can't afford to keep if we want to have any function other than paying for them.

So, here's what we're going to do:

  • Cost of living increases are dead. Gone. Not coming back. That'll at least stop SOME of the hemorraghing.
  • EVERYBODY takes a 5% cut - yeah, that means you, too. Local charities, family, and friends can make up the shortfall, if necessary. But we just can't afford to do so. Face it, most people have some give in their budget. We won't let anyone starve, but they will have to eliminate some luxuries.
  • Immediately, we'll insist that any physician prescribing drugs to a senior do a once a year check to see if some of them can be eliminated. It causes too many health issues to just keep adding on more meds. And some of them are clearly uncessary. When the bill for meds is the largest in the family budget, it should be looked at.

    Now, I know some of those seniors genuinely have been prescribed what they need. They'll still get it. But most are medicated far beyond need - when they bring in all the meds, and they fill a shopping bag, it's usually too much.
  • Needs testing - VERY unpopular, but, unfortunately, necessary.
  • All kids need to kick in for elderly parents in nursing homes - all. To be added to their tax bill, if necessary. Some of those families may find that they can care for their elders at home more cheaply. I'm not saying that the entire cost will have to be picked up. But some portion needs to be paid for.

Mind, such a politician will only be electable AFTER the crash happens. By then, of course, it will be too late.

Let me tell 'ya, I'd vote for a politician with the "stones" to tell it straight. No matter what his or her other positions. It's one of the few issues that are make-or-break for me.

Guys, it's like a hangover. Once, years ago, when I was young and foolish, I had too much to drink - as did several of my friends. The next day, we felt so bad that we started off the day with "hair of the dog". That improved the situation so much that we poured an even heavier coat - heck, we killed the entire bottle - I mean, dog.

The next day, we felt even worse. Same remedy. The next day, even worse. Same stupid idea. Saturday, I gritted my teeth, and got over it without assistance. It was one of the worst days of my young life. By Sunday, I was fine. The rest of the group took another day to get smart.

Funny thing - the longer I avoided paying the price, the worse the eventual bill got. If I had simply toughed it out the first day, I wouldn't have suffered for so long, nor been so miserable when I finally sobered up.

1 comment:

Eric said...

All those things are swell, except most Americans would sooner string you up from a lamppost.

Ta-ta!