“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.
Bob Herbert: Raising False Alarms
If there’s a better government program than Social Security, I’d like to know what it is.
It has gone a long way toward eliminating poverty among the elderly. Great numbers of them used to live and die in ghastly, Dickensian conditions of extreme want. Without Social Security today, nearly half of all Americans aged 65 or older would be poor. With it, fewer than 10 percent live in poverty.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities tells us that close to 90 percent of people 65 and older get at least some of their family income from Social Security. For more than half of the elderly, it provides the majority of their income. For many, it is the only income they have. . . . . .
We need a reality check. Attacking Social Security is both cruel and unnecessary. It needs to stop.
New York Times Editorial: What Comes After No?
The Republicans have vowed to “repeal and replace” President Obama’s historic health care reform law. Now that House Republicans have muscled through a symbolic repeal bill, they will have to deliver their own alternative plan. Don’t expect much.
There are many more slogans than details. But it is already clear that their approach would do almost nothing to control skyrocketing health care costs and would provide little help to the 50 million uninsured Americans.
Eugene Robinson: In the GOP’s budget, a surplus of spite
Despite what you might have heard, the coming battle on Capitol Hill is not really about “government spending” in the abstract. It’s about two radically different visions of how money should be spent.
Republicans who feign attacks of the vapors and fainting spells over the big, scary deficit would be more convincing if they didn’t begin with the insane premise that defense spending should be sacrosanct. The House leadership in the past few days has begun to signal retreat from this indefensible position, but it’s unclear how much of the hyper-conservative GOP majority will follow.
Robert Reich: The State of the Union and the Federal Budget: Investing in America’s Future
Word has it that the president will be emphasizing “improving American competitiveness” in his State of the Union Address Tuesday night. As I’ve noted, the term is meaningless — but it’s politically useful. CEOs and many conservatives think it means improving the profitability of American companies. Liberals and labor unions think it means increasing export jobs.
Neither touches at the heart of the matter. Hopefully, the president will. Over the long term, the only way to improve the living standards of most Americans is to invest in our people — especially their educations, skills, and the communications and transportation systems linking them together and with the rest of the world (infrastructure).