Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reality Check on 'Change'

Robert Samuelson has a piece today that is very pertinent for anyone who watched the corny, additional-mandate-laden acceptance (Hillary) and concession (Obama) speeches out of NH yesterday. All Democratic candidates and a few of the Republican ones (Huckabee and Romney, in particular) have taken to overusing the word 'change' (followed by calls for it, and assertions that they will spearhead the charge for change). The article's early lead in drops cold water all over this:

"We will do whatever it takes to make America a better country, to give our kids a better future," says Mike Huckabee, winner of the Republican Iowa caucuses.

"We will deliver for our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren," claims Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic winner.

"We're going to reclaim the future for our children," says Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Actually, these are throwaway lines, completely disconnected from reality.

Our children face a future of rising taxes, squeezed -- and perhaps falling -- public services, and aging -- perhaps deteriorating -- public infrastructure (roads, sewers, transit systems). Today's young workers and children are about to be engulfed by a massive income transfer from young to old that will perversely make it harder for them to afford their own children.

No major candidate of either party proposes to do much about this, even though the facts are well-known.

Elaboration follows in the article.

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