By Joe Klock, Sr.
As the story goes, this guy goes to his Doctor for the umpteenth time with the same urgent complaint:
“Hey, Doc, I’ve been coming here for months and I keep feeling lousier and lousier. I’ve never felt worse in my whole life. What’s wrong with me, anyway?”
As this story goes on, the phriendly physician (we strive here for consistency) pauses and phrowns (see foregoing) before he replies:
“Well, the truth is that you’re dying, Pal. In fact, you’ve been dying for a long time and you’re damn-near dead right now. I’m surprised that you even made it here today.”
The Patient (screaming):
“Nearly dead? How long have you known that”
The Doctor (calmly):
“Oh, for quite a while. Actually, as long as I’ve been treating you.”
The Patient (not at all so):
“My God, man, why haven’t you told me?”
“Well, two reasons. First of all I didn’t want to upset you and also, I was afraid I might lose you as a patient if I prescribed nasty medicine.”
Okay, it’s a silly yarn, but it’s too true to be good if applied to the so-called “entitlements” (e.g., Social Security and Medi-whatever) so resolutely being shielded by our elected reprehensibles on Crapitall Hill.
On each and every day for the next two decades, ten thousand Baby Boomers will reach the age of eligibility for full retirement benefits – the Brass Rings of Geezerdom. But, like the early masons in so many pyramid schemes of yore (and the lucky few who got in and out before wiley old Bernie made off with all that loot), it will be a dream come only temporarily true for the newly old.
As noted in an earlier column (write firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy), only the first feeders at the public trough will be paid out of what is, in reality, a “Phantom Phund,” one which will go broke well before the younger oldsters approach the Grim Reaper.
The others, unless Congress performs major (and painful) surgery, will get the finger, instead of a handout, in the not-so-sweet bye and bye. Because, folksies, them-there “entitlements” are at death’s door, but our legislative doctors don’t have the stones to tell us so and prescribe the bitter medicine and hurtful therapy that’s needed – desperately and now!
Here it is – once more with feeling, and no fooling:
The real money carefully set aside in past years by you-all and I-all as a “phund” to pay future benefits was raided, raped and piddled away over subsequent years on expenditures having nothing to do with IOU’s to us-all in the program.
It was (fraudulently, sez I) replaced with IOU’s from Uncle Sam, payable by future generations who have nothing to gain beyond bailing out public servants with degrees of integrity that would make pickpockets look like philanthropists.
The truth, buried underneath a mountain of bureaucratic bullscat and financial sleight-of-hand, is that their ain’t no easy way out of our current problem; and it IS ours, unless we choose to fob it off on our defenseless begats and grand-begats.
It will take one, or a combination, of the following prescriptions to cure the present malady and prevent it from becoming a congenital American plague:
– Raise the retirement age for those able to qualify for gainful employment.
– Increase the tax bite on those who are still productive.
– Scale back existing programs that are unrealistic.
– Pay benefits only to those genuinely in need of financial aid..
– Initiate draconian penalties on dirtbags who swindle the system.
– Narrow the scope of services provided.
– Fire the gutless governmentniks who know only how to kick cans down the road.
As to that last item: We, the people (or are we sheeple?) need only grant to those in power the time between now and Election Day, 2012 to diagnose our national maladies, prescribe remedial therapies and present us with the bill.
If the entire House of Reprehensibles, and fully a third of the Sinate [sic], fail to take meaningful action between now and then, we have an opportunity – read solemn obligation – to kick their asses out.
We can only then – but not until then – replace them with political doctors who subscribe to the Hippocratic Oath – to heal, rather than do further harm. (Enough with the Hypocritical blather they presently proffer!)
We may not like the necessary treatment, but it beats the poo-poo out of a lingering death for our nation and/or a lifelong plague on those beloved begats.