The Money Quote:
The Social Security debate could and should be part of a larger one in
which we engage our fellow citizens in choosing the best direction for society
as a whole as better things happen to us in the way of longer lives and new
health care goods and services. How can we really take best advantage of these
new opportunities? How can we spread the gains from this increased level of
well-being and wealth to create a stronger nation with opportunity for all? And
how should we share the costs?
Instead, the debate is upside down. Due to the ways we have designed
our programs and our budgets, every year we spend greater shares of our national income in areas where needs have declined, and then claim we don’t have enough left over for areas—such as education, public safety, children, and
anti-terrorism—where real needs remain and have often grown. I sometimes imagine sitting in the Ways and Means Committee room when someone from the National Institutes of Health comes in claiming to have found a cure, though expensive, for cancer. The members of committee, trapped in the logic of our current budget, find that instead of celebrating this advance, they commiserate among themselves about the increased cost for Social Security.
And this highlights the problems I have with TABOR laws.
Keywords: ECO120, ECO305, Fiscal Policy, TABOR