Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, March 14, 2005


George Will thinks, like me, that the GOP ought to be able to live with a payroll tax hike. He also presents this argument:

Republicans of the "starve the beast" inclination — those who aim to slow government's activism by reducing government's revenues — might relish the thought of Social Security's rendezvous with 2011. At that tipping point, the Social Security surplus begins to shrink.

Today the government is partially funded by that surplus of Social Security tax revenues over outlays, a fact disguised by politicians talking rot about Social Security being an "insurance" program with a "trust fund" in a "lock box." But between 2011 and 2016, Social Security outlays will exceed revenues by $32 billion, and the sums will rapidly increase during the cascading retirements of baby boomers. These sums must result in increased borrowing, or cuts of other government activities, or both.

"Starve the beast" Republicans can live with this. But what are Democrats thinking?

which reminds me of what I argued here, namely that the Democrats are nailing their flag to a sinking ship.

When it comes to Social Security, George Will is on my wavelength.

No more posting today. But I have jumped into a couple of debates at Brad DeLong's blog.


  • Lance, your "I am a troll" post appears not to have comments working.

    But anyway, the central thing to keep in mind here is that you are a troll.


    By Blogger J Thomas, at 7:21 AM  

  • Hehe. The funny thing is that after all this kerfuffle, I still don't know what a troll is. My impression so far is that a troll is anyone whom the moderator wishes to exclude from the discussion, for whatever reason, including the case when a person disagrees with the moderator and looks likely to win the argument and thus defeat the purpose of the blog in question. Are Brad and j thomas denying this? I don't even know.

    Anyone who supports the Social Security program, or who opposed the war in Iraq, as it is has very good reason to be afraid of argument. They're just wrong and this will become apparent quite rapidly in any free, open, intelligent debate. A lot of Brad DeLong's commenter-readers are a lot smarter than I am, I have no doubt, but I can still waltz in and knock them down quite easily, because I have the unfair of the advantage of being right.

    As a river flows, in its crooked, meandering way, towards the sea, so argument flows towards the truth. Brad has to dam the river of argument so that his readers won't have to suffer the inconvenience of changing their minds.

    By Blogger Lancelot, at 8:48 AM  

  • My impression is that Mr. DeLong is more classical than modern in his liberal outlook.

    The classic definition of "troll" is someone who posts deliberately inflammatory things for the fundamental purpose of getting a reaction. The modern definition has been reduced to "someone I disagree with" or "someone who annoys me".

    By Anonymous damaged justice, at 10:06 AM  

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