Impervious to Facts
by Jason Williams, Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 04:09:01 PM EDT
Dean Baker wants to know if Thomas Friedman is impervious to facts.
The evidence suggests that he is. He gives yet another of his diatribes about the need to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to advance his grand agenda for the country. Of course Social Security is financed by its own designated tax and is projected to be fully solvent for the next quarter century, so it is a bit bizarre to have this one on the list.
The Facts: The most pessimistic projections say Social Security isn't a deficit creator until 2037. Current budget problems are the result of a housing bubble and, as Baker also points out, ongoing budget problems are (still) the result of a broken health care system and our solitary substantial investment of the past decade: war.
While the villagers clutch their pearls searching for the most creative plan to gut the social safety net, Republicans struggle to hold themselves together having won a majority by electing screaming ideologues, Democrats scramble to not screw the debt ceiling standoff up entirely, and the President does his best to reinforce 30 years of conservative deficit dogma, it's worth keeping one thing in perspective:
Our national discussion has become a national distraction, and it's sure to carry over into the 2012 campaigns. No one is debating real solutions to actual problems.