Friday, April 14, 2006

Entitlement Reform

The following is from what Chuck Hagel wrote the letter mentioned in earlier posts. Entitlement reform was one of his six priorities.

“It we do not address this, we will bankrupt America. Our next generation will be unable to compete with the rest of the world. Last year, I was the first U.S. Senator to introduce comprehensive Social Security reform legislation. I also introduced bi-partisan legislation to create a National Entitlement Reform Commission. The President mentioned this type of Commission in his State of the Union speech in January. The longer we defer tough choices on entitlements…the fewer options we’ll have to fix this problem and the more difficult it will be to solve it.”
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Writing Left said...

I am not quite sure what "entitlements" are being referred to in this instance. However, the majority of the benefits from our tax dollars, paid disporporationaly by middle and lower income individuals, coming out of this Congress and Administration are going to businesses and corporations and not to individuals. If we are going to put this nation back on track, we need to minimize the subsidies going to businesses and require that they pay their fair share of taxes. So if "entitlement reform" is what is sought, lets minimize the skewed business oriented system and refocus on the needs of the individuals.

I think the following articles may be of interest to you regarding this matter:

Citizen McLain said...

By entitlements, I believe the Senator is referring to Social Security and Medicare.

I am a free market conservative and believe, to a greater extent, that the government should not subsidize businesses. It can promote research, support work on new technologies (mostly through lower taxes or targeted tax credits), but not through subsidies.

Hagel voted against the 2004 Farm Bill, I think, which was a giant give away to the corporate farming industry.

Good work on this blog, Charlie.

Writing Left said...

Citizen Mclain,

A determination has to be made as to what government is supposed to be. It can get out of the way of everything and be like Grover Cleveland (who was removed from office twice for his failure to protect the people from the horrors of depression and other problems) or it can support the people of the nation through various forms, which would likely include what some have deemed "entitlement programs." Clearly the free market has not stepped up to ensure that people have sufficient retirement incomes (i.e., United's failure to pay into its pension system) and most companies do not provide any medical health insurance to its retirees. Until private businesses are willing to do the right thing and protect its workers, it remains the government's responsibility to do so.