Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

GOP presidents and social programs: A reality check

George Will’s Friday column, “Sustaining the unsustainable,” dissects the debt-ceiling crisis. The Democrats, in his view, are to blame for the “entitlement culture” that is leading us to ruin.

(For some reason he never uses the words “Social Security,” “Medicare” or “Medicaid” when referring to the “entitlement culture.” You’d have to ask him.)

Here’s my problem: Since President Lyndon Johnson, there have been five Republican presidents — Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

All of these White House occupants have been aware of these social programs. All, obviously, have been baptized in Republicanism. Most important, all have had the bully pulpit.

Which one of them made any effort to end these programs? And, anyway, how do you run a modern industrial state without programs like these?

I find the George Wills of the world to be curious oddities. They’re positive that they’re right, but they have no idea how the world they strive for would actually work.

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  1. Republicans,too, have an "entitlement culture". They believe they are entitled to artificially low income tax rates no matter how much money we have to borrow to sustain them.

  2. Right on target Mr. Grosser, good opinion.

    Has anyone asked, how many of these fiscal conversatives were in office when George the Lesser sat in the White House?

    Is this battle really over the debt ceiling or the election of Obama pushed them over the edge? For three years the GOP has done everything they could to fulfill the right wing mantra, "I hope he fails!"

    If the GOP had worked and/or compromised with the president from the very beginning, we would be out of this mess. But noooooo! They've obstructed almost everything proposed, and now they hold the House doing zero for job creation as promised.

  3. George Will...always writing and always wrong. With a track record of being correct less that tossing a coin.

  4. Not only did none of the Republican presidents do anything about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, they also did not address illegal immigration.
    They are all talk and no action. They know it would be political suicide to do so.
    Republicans will never do anything about illegla immigration because businesses, like hotel casinos here in las Vegas would not be able to hire cheap labor. They pay less than legal pay to these folks and let them go to the County hospital for medical care which the property taxpayers are paying for.
    Republicans are in place for the rich only and until middle class republican voters open their eyes the middle class will continue to shrink.

  5. My neighbor is retired from NYC. He drove a city bus for 20 years which in NY is a government job with a pension. For the next twenty, he worked as a NYC Transit Authority Cop, another government pension. Now he is retired and at about 75 he has been drawing full Social Security for more than 10 years in addition to two other pensions, all paid for by tax payers. A nice fella, he lives quite well on his mailbox money.

    Both pensions don't equal a single pension for a firefighter, but still a good gig if you can get it.