I believe that most Americans are genuinely shocked and saddened by the massacre of innocent children (and adults) in Newtown, Conn. Yet, I find the collective societal outrage a little sanctimonious as we expressively grieve for the victims while tacitly subjecting all of our children to more calamities in the future. I refer to the rising national debt and the impeding bankruptcies of Medicare and Social Security.
Medicare will go bankrupt in 2024; Social Security will run out of money in 2033, unless we start to contain our costs now. Every day of inaction compounds the deficit and diminishes our children's ability to achieve the American Dream.
How are our children and grandchildren going to afford a top-flight education for their kids, attain home ownership, replace aging infrastructure, meet the rising cost of health care, including treatments of metal illness, maintain our national defense capabilities, and pay for their own retirement, when the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the public debt to rise to 90 percent of GDP by 2022?
There are two basic ways to get entitlements under control, change the eligibility rules or change be the benefits. Both are tough choices. But that's what defines us as Americans, the willingness to make sacrifices for our families and the food of the country. The best way to get a handle on societal ills (poverty, crime, suicide, and mental illness) is not to over-regulate or infringe on constitutional rights, but to finally deal with he big picture and bring more economic stability to our nation. Further inaction will imperil not just our children's future, but our own.
Jeffrey M. Stevens