Friday, November 27, 2015

Pre-election dispatch from 'Credit Card World'

Is sacrifice really just a virtue "we hope to see in our grandchildren"? Maybe so, if you're insisting simultaneously on tax cuts and "hands off my Medicare."

Pre-election dispatch from 'Credit Card World'


Not much can shine through the typical avalanche of rhetoric on a pre-election weekend. But for me, one brief letter-to-the-editor managed to do just that. Amir Karger wrote to the New York Times:

Americans live in Credit Card World, where sacrifice is a virtue we hope to see in our grandchildren. Only in Credit Card World can Americans insist on tax cuts and Medicare increases; cheap imported goods and no outsourcing; and affordable, quality health care with no rationing.

You may disagree with Karger's premise, which is that congressional Democrats stand to be "punished for precisely those times they showed leadership, by making unpopular but necessary choices: the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Afghanistan surge and health care reform." 

But I'd wager that even some Tea Party sympathizers would agree with his sense of cognitive dissonance, if not his conclusion: "Cowed by the Tea Party, partisan bloggers and Credit Card World voters, the 2011 Congress — whether Republican or Democratic — will no doubt kick the can further down the road. And we Americans will be left with plenty of second thoughts."

Is sacrifice really just a virtue you hope to see in your grandchildren?  Maybe so, if you're insisting simultaneously on tax cuts for everybody, repeal of health-care reform, and "hands off my Medicare."


Inquirer Business Columnist
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About this blog

Jeff Gelles, who writes the Inquirer's weekly Consumer 14.0 and Tech Life columns, takes a broad look at the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

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