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Commentary

Don’t get old
Tony Blankely, Washington Times, 4-20-05

Blankley asks a question that has long plagued writers who follow American politics: “What is the difference between squirrels and members of Congress?”

Answer: “Squirrels make provision for the future.” Blankley notes that the timid creatures who populate the halls of Congress are putting off enacting meaningful Social Security and Medicare reform for yet another year, even as the fiscal burdens of these two entitlement programs spiral out of control.

If the Social Security financial wave that will hit us is a scary 25-foot wave of water, the Medicare wave will be something the wrathful Old Testament God would send if he was in an apocalyptic mood…Any way it is calculated, it can’t be afforded. Medicare is not only challenged by all the same demographic forces that are hitting Social Security, but also by the fact that demand for health care is going up, on average, about 3 percent more than the gross domestic product every year...If we don’t have the political will to solve the easier problem of Social Security, my advice to boomers as they get older is—don’t get sick.


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