Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: entitlements

Feb.
2nd

Poor? What poor? U.S. politics play to middle class

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Mitt Romney doesn’t care about “the very poor”? He’s not alone.

Romney’s point – as he hurried to emphasize Wednesday after his awkward phrase popped out on CNN – was that the poorest Americans have a safety net while middle-class Americans are “struggling.”

His real sin was saying out loud what campaign strategists from both parties know: In American politics, it’s all about the middle. That’s true for the nation. By and large, it’s true for Washington state.

The middle class is where the votes are. People who want to win elections know that pandering to the broad socioeconomic center is how it’s done. Republicans tend to favor tax cuts; Democrats tend to want to sweeten entitlements for middle-income Americans. The poor can be an afterthought, if that.

The Republican Party since its inception has looked out for business and the financial sector. Fine: A free and dynamic economy needs champions of investment and private job-creation. Jobs – the best antidote to poverty – are byproducts of business expansion.

But many Americans get left behind, including people with disabilities and children who grow up in scary places with few opportunities. Too often, their problems are simply not on the conservative radar screen.
Read more »

Nov.
14th

Medicare and Social Security: Have and have-nots

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

A new report on the wealth gap between young and old Americans adds another argument for trimming Medicare and Social Security spending as Congress attempts to control its runaway spending.

After rummaging through reams of federal data, the Pew Research Center documented an immense and growing financial disparity between citizens older than 65 and citizens younger than 35.

The most startling number in the study had to do with net worth: A typical household headed someone of retirement age now has 47 times the wealth than a household headed by someone 35 or younger.

That’s apparently the largest gap ever. According to the center, it has doubled since 2005 and increased fivefold over the last 25 years.

That’s not the key issue, though. Older people in general are bound to possess more than younger people, who have only begun accumulating possessions and equity in their homes.
Read more »

July
7th

Only debt solution: Less spending, more taxes

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Thursday’s White House conclave on the nation’s debt and deficits was “very constructive,” President Obama announced after the session ended.

What does that mean? Nobody pulled out a gun?

Republican congressional leaders have forced Democrats into the ultimate game of chicken.

Their threat to prevent Democrats from ratcheting up the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is inherently reckless: If they made good on it, the nation’s fragile semi-recovery could be walloped by higher interest rates as investors watched Congress playing politics with its financial obligations.

Who jumps out first before the nation’s credit rating goes over the cliff? Read more »