Republican representative Paul Ryan says getting the national debt under control is a "moral obligation." And how does he propose to fulfill that obligation? By watering down Medicare and Medicaid.
Another Ryan, Ryan Streeter, gives him thumbs up:
Whenever we have to forego something important that we expected to receive, we tend to call it a “sacrifice.” It’s not inappropriate to say that Ryan’s budget pushes us in the direction of “sacrifice” – even “shared sacrifice,” an expression entitlement reformers are loathe [he means loath] to use. Selling Medicare reform is hard enough as it is. Making it sound painful is even worse. But changing our expectations, and preparing for a different future, is what we have to require of ourselves. ...Such pious twaddle reminds me of the account in "gonzo" "journalist" Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas about being in a motel room in Vegas, high on a combination of extracurricular brain chemicals, while a speech by Richard Nixon was being broadcast on the TV. The volume was low, Thompson wrote, and the only words he could make out from the president were, "Sacrifice ... sacrifice ... sacrifice ... ."
If we are going to achieve the kinds of spending reductions needed to balance our books in the future, we all have to be prepared to give up what our parents and grandparents expected as a given. The only way we're going to keep our country great is by committing to sacrifice -- for the sake of our country. We've seen the sacrifices made by "The Greatest Generation." They came in the last century. Now, this is our generation’s greatest calling.
Now, make no mistake, the American economy is in a graveyard spiral, and radical spending reductions are beyond urgent.
But for once, I have to agree with a frequent Democratic Party talking point: why should the "sacrifices" be made by the old and the ill?
Notice what Ryan doesn't talk about sacrificing. Not a word about military adventurism in the Middle East. Nothing about useless federal bureaucracies, student loans that mainly benefit for-profit Internet "colleges," automobile company and bank bailouts, affirmative action programs and enforcers that discriminate against whites, "alternative energy" subsidy scams, and all the other ways the government taxes its subjects to distribute the money to its favorites.
We are in this devastating condition primarily because our politicians have lost any sane notion of the legitimate purposes, and especially limits, of government. It is just too easy to buy votes through spending that pleases lobbying groups and ethnic grievance organizations. Instead of allowing a painful but relatively short period of economic self-correction, the government steps in with money raised by borrowing, taxing, and "quantitative easing" to postpone the day of reckoning.