Time’s a-wastin’

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - Ge­orge B. Reed Jr.

by 20-30%. But there is no rea­son to panic.

In the not­too-dis­tant past when­ever a sit­u­a­tion of mu­tual con­cern arose Democrats and Repub­li­cans would tem­po­rar­ily bury their par­ti­san hatch­ets and co­op­er­ate to de­vise a so­lu­tion for the good of the coun­try. And we don’t re­ally have much choice on this one. We ei­ther work to­gether to re­vi­tal­ized So­cial Se­cu­rity or go down the tubes to­gether. But it will not be all that hard to re­pair.

First of all, since its in­cep­tion over eighty years ago the re­tire­ment age (65) for So­cial Se­cu­rity has never been ad­justed in re­la­tion to our steadily-es­ca­lat­ing life ex­pectancy. This fix is long past due. Next, we must in­crease the amount of in­di­vid­ual in­come sub­ject to So­cial Se­cu­rity tax, or, bet­ter still, elim­i­nate the limit en­tirely. This wouldn’t pau­per­ize any­body. And fi­nally — and this will evoke con­sid­er­able wail­ing and gnash­ing of teeth — raise the pay­roll tax rate. It won’t be much, but it must be raised. Other in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions pay double or more our rate and man­age to en­joy the good life and stay out of the poor house to boot.

Un­for­tu­nately for all con­cerned, the longer we avoid fac­ing this re­al­ity the closer to in­sol­vency the So­cial Se­cu­rity fund will grow, the fewer choices we will have and the more trau­matic they will be due to the built-up of the anx­i­ety of post­pon­ing the in­evitable. If we care one hoot about the fu­ture of our chil­dren, grand­chil­dren and our coun­try, the time to act is now. But we can’t do any­thing with this bunch of bough­tand-paid-for stooges presently oc­cu­py­ing our na­tion’s cap­i­tal. Then who?

Joe Bi­den, though hon­or­able and hard-work­ing to a fault, is sim­ply too old. And Bernie Sanders is too ide­o­log­i­cally ex­treme, too preachy, and also much too old. El­iz­a­beth War­ren, who will be 71 in 2020, lies some­where be­tween the cen­trist Bi­den and the un­abashed lib­eral Sanders in ide­ol­ogy. But she has on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions de­clared she doesn’t want to run. And her ad­min­is­tra­tive/ex­ec­u­tive back­ground is prac­ti­cally nonex­is­tent. But some­body needs to step up, and soon.

The Demo­cratic party and the na­tion will soon face their gravest chal­lenge since 1932. Time’s a-wastin’.

Ge­orge B. Reed Jr., who lives in Rossville, can be reached by email at reed1600@bell­south.net.

Rossville res­i­dent

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