CAP's Matt Miller helps Andrew Cuomo throw Social Security under the bus
But in an era when health care and pensions for seniors are poised to crowd out cash for every other public priority, or else require tax increases beyond what even liberals think would be good for the economy, this shouldn't be the left's only objective.
Thinking anew means asking a federal version of Andrew Cuomo's question. Should Democrats really say trillions in automatic pension increases over today's levels are "untouchable," when there's no similar "trust fund" guaranteeing great teachers for poor children, universal preschool, repairs for America's crumbling roads and sewers or help for [insert your favorite non-elderly priority here]?
If you're with me this far, you've grasped a piece of common sense that sadly can't find expression in our infantile political culture. Repeat after me: "Social Security is indispensable to our seniors' economic well-being and also a program whose autopilot increases should be trimmed to leave room for other progressive priorities." There! That wasn't so hard, was it?
It'll take a while for Democrats to catch on to this; with some elections still looking winnable on the low road, the White House won't be testing the left's capacity for enlightened self-interest anytime soon. But Andrew Cuomo has tacitly made the liberal case for "cutting" Social Security. The conversation he's seeded is destined to come; the only question is when.
WIth friends like these.... Somebody should take Miller aside and explain to him that government is not a household, and government expenditures aren't "cash."