Saturday, August 11, 2012


The aging population problem

Yesterday (Friday, August 10) I watched a segment of the news from Japan on Channel 28.  A large part of the half hour program was devoted to how the Japanese government plans to deal with the rising cost of social security and other services for its increasing population of retired workers.  Can you guess?  Very simple.  The government plan is to phase in increases in the consumption tax and probably the income tax over the next eight or ten years to provide the extra money.  There was no talk of reducing the tax burden on the rich or reducing social security benefits.  Social security benefits may have to be trimmed some time in the future, but there was no talk of such changes.  There was talk of reducing "wasteful spending" by government.

How different is the discussion of this problem in our country!  Mr. Romney has just today announced his choice of Vice President: Paul Ryan.  The choice of Mr. Ryan signals that Mr. Romney is committed to the Republican program of reducing the taxes on wealthy Americans and reducing government services to retirees, to persons on Medicare, and other middle class and poorer segments of society.  Mr. Romney has gained the support of Grover Norquist, the Republican Grinch who wants to reduce the size of government to almost nothing.  At least now the voters will have a clear choice of the future path of the country in the November Election.

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