I am sure we all think it would be great, other things being equal, to try to make many of life’s unfairnesses less . . . problematic. But most grown-ups understand (or used to) that “life isn’t fair” is a truism for a reason.
So when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized his competing GOP hopefuls for wanting to reform Social Security and other so-called “entitlements,” I was unimpressed.
“Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security,” Trump said last year, referencing Medicare and Medicaid as well. “And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years and now all of the sudden they want to be cut.”
But the unfairness is not in fixing the system by raising retirement ages, etc. The real injustices lie in the past, with previous fixes and . . . “unfixes” — that put us in the fix we are currently in.
And not fixing it now will lead to further, more obvious “unfairness” in the future.
Trump is just avoiding responsibility. By not addressing the problem honestly, we do not make things or keep things fair. We make things worse.
Peter Suderman notes that Chris Christie’s endorsement of Trump, last week, puts the lie to the New Jersey governor’s much-ballyhooed seriousness about entitlement reform.
But no major politician wants to handle it. For the problem shows how deep the unfairness runs in the American system.
That would require real leadership.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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