Letter to the editor: George Will wrong on seniors & debt
In one of his more desultory columns, George Will eventually arrives at one of his mainstay concerns: the entitlement state ( “The future’s only constituency is the conscience of the present,” Aug. 5, TribLIVE). According to Will, we seniors should cheerfully chuck our Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security cards as we collectively are eating the “seed corn.” This argument is at best specious and at worst bizarre.
Of the many attacks on entitlements, stifling U.S. “basic research” is certainly one of the stranger ones. Basic research by its nature is decidedly uncertain, and to ask seniors to pull in so that the scientific/government bureaucracy can pursue unfettered research for decades strikes me as fanciful or worse (recall that current space efforts, driverless vehicles, electric vehicles, etc. are driven mainly by private or corporate interests — not the U.S. government).
Will references the burgeoning national debt and related budget deficits (he at least recognizes the issue, unlike many other “conservative” commenters). Senior citizens should not have to shoulder the burden of our feckless taxation polices that reward the wealthy while soon punching trillion-dollar holes in the federal budget. I don’t consider that the senior citizens of this wealthy country are “holding back” scientific progress. I think overall our scientific progress is doing just fine, thank you.