The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 10, 2013

To be honest, old folks are doing OK

NORMAN — Let’s have an honest conversation about Social Security.

Just kidding. What I really mean is that I want to declare my views on the matter and have everybody else nod in assent and refrain from any uncomfortable, “divisive” questions or comments.

Hey, why not? I’m just following the example of our dear leaders. One of the biggest whoppers you hear from a member of the political class is that he or she longs for an “honest conversation” about some hot-button issue.

They don’t — unless it’s one-sided. Sort of like Attorney General Eric Holder, when he said back in 2009 that America was a “nation of cowards,” unwilling to have an honest, forthright conversation about race. But then, anybody who took issue with anything he said was a racist!

That’s pretty much the way it is when it comes to calls for honest conversations about how to keep Social Security solvent for the long term. Suggest any kind of curb on the growth of this massive entitlement — not a cut, simply a modest slowing of the growth — and you are immediately painted as an elder abuser, looking to kick grandma out of her wheelchair onto the curb with nothing but a dry biscuit to eat and a moth-eaten shawl to shelter her from the freezing wind.

You are also probably the kind of person who would undermine her dignity by questioning how much she spends on lottery tickets. Oh, the humanity!

Well, as someone who entered the Medicare generation last month (on the very day Obamacare took effect — how’s that for irony?), I am going to claim a small measure of credibility on the subject of political propaganda about elders.

Yes, there are poor, sick, dependent elders. They need and depend on the entitlements that a compassionate society should, and can afford to, provide.

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