Despite the triumphant harrumphing of the Republican horde who promised to act like they had a pair when they were swept into D.C. back in '94, our brave lads and lasses are currently battling for brain-dead show-stoppers like outlawing kiddie porn (this being what, the fifteenth iteration?) and instructing the appropriate regulatory agencies to formulate mandatory toddler ass-wiping guidelines.
The Federal Debt be damned.
Well, what in the hell did you expect? No major reform can take place as long as the debate is waged by politicians who wish to eliminate only those programs -- quick, name me two -- that do not directly enrich any of their supporters, or the constituents of any other influential representatives whose bums they are forced to lick in exchange for a heftier chunk of, say, research grants earmarked for the torturing of Pygmy Marmosets in the name of Science at various and sundry rapacious state colleges.
This obvious truth gave me an idea that I have been kicking around for several years: Why not fix Social Security and Medicare by engaging in some sleazy pandering?
I personally do not know anyone under the age of forty who seriously believes that these programs will still be shoveling out the bucks at the time they are ready to retire. Unfortunately, their desires for true reform are opposed by the existing recipients, a fearsome voting bloc with plenty of time to follow their own narrow interests, who will disembowel any representative foolish enough to threaten their stranglehold on the wallets of succeeding generations. Then there are the older middle-aged types who are next in line . . .
As bad as our current system of mutual parasitism has gotten, it pays to keep in mind that there are major differences between the present-day net leeches and the suckdogs-in-waiting. First, there are more of the former. Second, and better yet, they are addled by age, and thus should clutch at any brightly-colored green thing that is waved in front of them.
So why not pit both ends, the geezers and the kinder, against the middle? Rather than tampering with the outrageous pork lavished on those frustrating old boobs already on the dole, why not guarantee them their benefits, with comfortable yearly raises, until they pull the Deep Six? My bet is that it will then take little or no persuasion to get 'em to join up with the youngsters to disenfranchise the middle group, say those aged 42-60, who are slated to follow them onto the gravy train. After all, doing the right thing is much simpler if your own place at the public trough is secure (repeat after me: "It's for your grandchildren!" -- then toss the greedy superannuated scumbags another wad of cash). At least then we could turn off this particular swag sprinkler after the last of the megagenarians pops a final critical vessel.
History tells us that this might work. Not too many years ago Washington -- during a moment of relative sanity -- created "Notch Babies," folks whose benefits were ratcheted down slightly depending on the year of their birth, until a new baseline was established (if you're a C-SPAN junkie, you can still see them berating politicos at Q&A sessions). The reason this adjustment was allowed to pass is that the retirees not impacted failed to rise up and defend the "rights" of their erstwhile fellow travelers.
There is no honor amongst the filthy old croakers. Leap on it!