Earlier this week we heard with great candor from former Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, expressing dismay at the Trump budget. Why? Cuts in the EPA? Cuts for Big Bird and PBS? No. Senator Kerrey is concerned about Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to do something about our biggest budget challenge–the runaway growth of entitlements, specifically Medicare and Social Security. Sen Kerry laments that we’re on track to increase those two programs by $80B next year. As Kerry says, we’re robbing from the future to pay for the past. Why does this happen?
“We geezers vote in large fractions. It is a lot easier to screw young people than older people because they don’t vote and we do,” the 73-year-old Kerrey said on “Squawk Box.”
We’re indebted to this proclamation of “the emperor has no clothes,” because the standard line is that we support these programs based on our compassion for the elderly. Kerrey bursts that bubble by suggesting this happens primarily as the result of raw political power. Older people vote and will hold politicians accountable. Younger people don’t and won’t.
Kerrey was always a different kind of Democrat, a Medal of Honor winning Navy Seal who was known as a fiscal conservative, so we shouldn’t necessarily think he wouldn’t have been equally as honest if he were still in office. Yet its an unfortunate reality that this kind of Democrat is unlikely to be elected today. But whats more unfortunate is the legacy we are collectively leaving our kids and grand-kids, because we refuse to recognize economic reality today.