David Frum

04.10.13

I Cheer Obama's 'Shocking Attack on Seniors'

If the GOP is going to be the party that calls for responsible spending while ferociously working to prevent any actual cuts to entitlement programs, it's a party that will die. 

Now, Chained CPI and limiting Medicare spending are a nice start. They don't really solve our problem, which is an aging nation that will have more retirees per worker than the historical norm, but that was a problem we should have attacked forty years ago. Instead, we've got this:

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Well Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) — who also happens to be chairman of the House GOP’s re-election committee — just showed how it’s done, saying Obama’s budget “lays out a shocking attack on seniors.”

“I’ll tell you when you’re going after seniors the way he’s already done on Obamacare, taken $700 billion out of Medicare to put into Obamacare and now coming back at seniors again, I think you’re crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine certainly and around the country,” he said on CNN Wednesday afternoon.

Real talk? Those seniors created this mess. They were born into the most affluent and productive society on Earth, they had their fun in the 1960s and 70s, and they didn't have enough kids to leave a strong work force to support them. But no, we certainly can't talk about limiting benefits. That'd be unfair and shocking!

I'm not really the austerity type. We don't need big cuts now. But if conservatives are to ever get serious about preventing the natural growth of government spending (aging society, remember) from ballooning into a real issue, it won't be as the party that defends the old against the young. 

So hey, President Obama, not a huge fan of your budget, but I'm certainly not going to attack you for requesting moderate entitlement reform. In fact, bravo!