Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How Many Third Rails Are There?

Fairly recently the third rail was Social Security since it was going to go broke sometime soon and folks were surprised to find out that Congress had complete control and the ability to change the rules in the middle of the game. They have been changing by raising the "entry fee" and raising the retirement age gradually, but now everyone knows about the Ponzi scheme and the results being considered.

Even more recently we've heard Immigration designated as the third rail. No need to go into detail on that. We're all choosing sides and the only surprising thing is that the President has chosen to take on 60% to 70% of the country who disagrees with him as to the Arizona law and that we basically know the difference between right and wrong. Now he's going to train and send up to 12,000 troops and spend about $500 million so we'll forgive his little lapse in judgment.

Then there are Freddie and Fannie which has caused so much grief to so many people with the buck stopping within the Congress itself, specifically Dodd and Frank and anyone else connected to them. I have asked Sen. Levin on 4 occasions when they are going to investigate those "financial institutions" as the others and just can't seem to pry loose an answer. That really looked like the proverbial free lunch for a little while.

They're not calling it a third rail yet, but Medicare is even worse off that Social Security. With the increase due to baby boomers retirements it can only get worse. Is there anyway those unfunded liabilities will ever be paid back? Don't think so.

Now we have the first of the reports from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Apparently they have a lead on saving $1 trillion over ten years - and by the way, why is it that everything is now expressed in ten year time frames? Don't suppose they thought we were getting smart enough to understand the concept of a billion so they had to go to the next level to sound astronomical........
Anyway, it's mostly a matter of not replacing public employees, just letting attrition take care of it. But what might that do to the SEIU and the public service jobs which is where most of the employment is taking place?

The more things change the more they stay the same--
God bless......

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