Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

November 20, 2013

Entitlement reform must be part of federal budget solution

By BILL HAMMOND

The good news for the federal budget: there is finally a conference committee that is looking at the issue. The bad news: it is hard to get Congress to agree on anything these days, let alone the budget.

The big issue is sequestration. Do we, once again, allow huge automatic cuts to take place to control spending?

Sequestration will cause a 2.7 percent reduction in spending beginning in January of next year. Because of the last sequestration, federal spending has actually gone down from year to year for the first time. While that sounds good, these across-the-board cuts without considering the need for individual programs is not a good way to do business.

Democrats aren’t a fan of another sequestration because it makes huge cuts to social programs. Republicans aren’t a fan because of the big cuts to defense spending. Yes, the issue is more complicated, but that is the basic problem.

So what is the alternative to another sequestration? The answer is long-term entitlement reform.

Bank robber Willie Sutton was quoted as answering the question of why he robbed banks by saying, “Because that’s where the money is.” He denied ever actually saying that, but his quote is also the answer of why we need long-term entitlement reform: because that’s where the money is.

Medicare and Social Security are projected to grow by 80 percent over the next 10 years. If a trade could be made to do away with the sequestration and instead pass substantial, long-term entitlement reform, everyone would be better off. I am concerned that Medicare and Social Security won’t be there for my grandchildren, and quite frankly that scares me. We need to fix the financial health of these programs now to ensure their viability for our future generations.

Text Only
Viewpoints
  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The fox and the hound, plus Max

    Almost without exception, most farms are protected to some degree by guard animals. Dogs and cats are most commonly used to defend against intruders and nuisance pests around the farmstead. In recent years with the proliferation of coyotes, many folks are using guard donkeys or llamas to protect their livestock.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Laws can’t be ignored

    Senator Harry Reid said, “We just can’t let people ignore the law.”

    April 20, 2014

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hamilton, Lee.jpg HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet!

    Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Showing respect

    My sister Robbie Benton’s funeral was Friday afternoon at White’s Funeral Home. The gravesite was outside of Mineral Wells. The respect shown by the good folks of Parker County and the surrounding area was overwhelming.

    April 17, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Going on a wild goose chase

    In recent years I’ve written quite a bit about the introduction and negative consequences of non-native or invasive species. Fire ants, killer bees, English sparrows, Asian carp, feral hogs and others too numerous to list have forever changed our local ecosystem.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: TV offers

    Have you seen those TV offers where they give a price for one product and then offer a second like items for-free? All you have to do is pay a separate shipping and handling charge for the “free” items.

    April 13, 2014

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s in a name?

    Names are important. When my son, Rush, (who’s named after my father) and his wife, Vanessa, were expecting their third daughter, I gave up on having a male namesake and suggested, in jest, they call her “Johnnie Pauline.”

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: The Christian and the government

    The church in the Old Testament lived under a theocracy. That is, both the church and state were one. God anointed kings. Civil laws and religious laws were one and the same.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Getting in the chicken business

    Anyone who is my age or older has heard the famous quote, “A chicken in every pot.” It is normally attributed to Herbert Hoover during his 1928 presidential bid.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest