[N]either political party seems interested in reducing benefits for baby boomers. Doing so, it's argued, would be "unfair" to people who had planned retirements based on existing programs. Well, yes, it would be unfair. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a worse time for cuts. Unemployment is horrendous; eroding home values and retirement accounts have depleted the elderly's wealth. Only 19 percent of present retirees are "very confident" of having enough money to live "comfortably," down from 41 percent in 2007, reports the Employee Benefit Research Institute.As they say, read the whole thing. There really is no alternative. We have been on a drunken spending spree. We are going to need to go cold turkey, and the cure starts with entitlements. The path ahead will be fraught with cold sweats, delirium tremens, nausea, headaches, etc. We can only hope that we haven't damaged our vital organs (our economy, our national security, the American national character) beyond repair.
But not making cuts would also be unfair to younger generations and the nation's future. We have a fairness dilemma: Having avoided these problems for decades, we must now be unfair to someone. To admit this is to demolish the moral case for leaving baby boomers alone. Baby boomers - I'm on the leading edge - and their promised benefits are the problem. If they're off-limits, the problem is being evaded.
Sorry for the long extended metaphor, but American really is the sick man of the world right now.