January 03, 2004

Welcome Aboard George

I won't claim that George Will reads my stuff but he seems to be onboard my 12/10/2003 note:

There is still time for the Bush administration to demonstrate that it's concessions to higher spending were the tactical one step back by proving that there are two steps forward. Competition and accountability measures have to be more than just words in the legislative debate to get right wing votes in the Congress. They have to have real teeth and be rigorously applied. President Bush needs to go back to the Congress again and again to strengthen these measures where the first implementation was not strong enough. In this, things are no different than with his tax policy. Multiple tax cuts were enacted because an intervening election made the impossible, possible. 2005 will be a critical legacy year. If President Bush gets reelected and has a friendlier Congress to partner with, conservatives have the right to expect that the first timid steps made today on creating both choice and accountability will be revisited and improved. Anything less would be nixonian at its worst.

Will writes as if the great reforms needed to rescue GWB's presidency from Nixonian economic status are inevitable (in this he's a bit more optimistic than me) but he correctly outlines 2005 as the crucial year, not just for reforming medicare, but the huge problem of Social Security. We've been demographically in trouble since the 1960s but until recently, only the demographers really cared. Now we're starting to get into territory where mere laymen can start seeing the tsunami of unsustainable expenditures that is coming.

Four years from now it will start to hit. What happens in 2005 will likely ensure the difference between threatening our way of life and entirely swamping it.

Posted by TMLutas at January 3, 2004 07:45 AM