Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Brief Pause from #10

I'm watching C-Span2 and here are Sens. Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) offering an amendment to the upcoming federal budget. What's the amendment about? Setting aside the annual incoming surplus in the Social Security "trust fund" so that it is dedicated to paying future SS benefits -- a laudable concept.

What's the issue, you ask? Well, arguing against the two Republican senators is Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), who offered the same amendment a few years ago when he was in the minority. Now that the Democrats run the show, they aren't inclined to handcuff themselves in budgetary matters. And now that they are in the minority, the Republicans are very interested in handcuffing the other side.

This is the height of absurdity and partisanship. If an idea is a good one and at different times has attracted a majority of senators on both sides of the aisle, then ... well, it's a good idea! It is a fact (both Dems and Repubs agree on this) that in 2017, the SS receipts will go into deficit, and around 2040, the "trust fund" will run out of money it has collected over the decades it has been around.

So even though everybody in Washington, D.C., knows the train wreck will happen, the will is not there to fix the problem -- that is, unless the orator is in the minority and willing to be an irritant to the majority in power.

Clearly, the only reason the issue is ever raised is for partisan purposes. This is the government we deserve if we do not wrest control back from the parties.

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