Bill Keller of the New York Times takes on Boomers and entitlements

Eric Garland Generational Conflict Leave a Comment

I am not normally a great fan of the New York Times’ Bill Keller, but this Op-Ed on confronting Baby Boomers on the subject of their US government entitlements is really incisive – and a critique of the man’s own generation.

The column proposed that baby boomers like me, who are flooding into the Social Security and Medicare rolls, should take the lead in fighting to reform those programs. Reform does not mean privatizing, a la the Paul Ryan/Mitt Romney approach, which I think is an underhanded way to cut benefits overall. And it does not mean whacking benefits for those who genuinely depend on these programs. (More on that in a minute.) It mostly means shifting more of the costs to those who can afford them, reconciling the programs to the changes in how we live, and using the government’s power to help drive down the costs of medical care.

The purpose of taking on entitlements is twofold: to make the programs more sustainable (which in my view includes making them more progressive) and to free money for other things – most importantly, imho, investing in things only government can do, such as basic research and infrastructure.

This is really sensible, (dare I say it?) non-partisan analysis, forward looking policy. Quick! Read it before they take it down and put something up about the Kardashians to get more clicks!