March 25th, 2008

Milestones vs Real News

When we sadly reached 4000 dead in Iraq, it was reported as news.  You know, the "mounting death total hits round number" announcement.  Somehow it wasn't news the day before when the total was 3996.  Oh well, reporters love these "mounting death toll" stories.  The Pentagon gives you the data and the story writes itself.

Of course, counts of the dead always seem to be mounting.  At least they never seem to head downward.  Except maybe for people like this and this, who are declared "brain dead" but then get up and walk and talk.  Maybe I should have thought twice before signing that organ-donor card.

Another milestone got reported as news today - Medicare and Social Security are running out of money.  Talk about old news.  Everybody's seen this coming for decades.

But the alternatives available aren't appealing.  You know, big increases in taxes, or big cuts in benefits.  Or both.  I say phase the whole thing out, but I don't expect that to be a popular solution.

People imagine the government is good at long-range planning.  As if we'd been electing actuaries to Congress!

Thinking for the long term
makes most politicians squirm.

They promise dreams today,
but tomorrow we have to pay.