Before we get to the question, first the set up by John Quiggin, who is commenting on Rep. and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s ‘austerian’ budget (boldface mine):
A policy like this has what economists like to call a time-inconsistency problem. To get the policy approved, Ryan needs the votes of people currently over 55 (hence the exemption) and in the current US situation, any Republican majority has to rely heavily on older voters. Say the plan passes. Sooner or later, the combination of demographics and the electoral pendulum means that the Repubs will be out, and the new primarily majority will face three choices (a) Repeal the whole thing if they can do so before it comes into force (b) Keep on paying high taxes to fund benefits they will never receive for the benefit of the selfish old so-and-so’s who voted to cut the rope once they had reached the top; or (c) extend the same cuts to the (as of 2011) over 55’s, and claw back some money for themselves.
If I were an over-55 Republican, I don’t think I would want to count on (b)
Now my question:
Why are so many pundits and journalists, most of whom are not wealthy and who are one major setback (or divorce) away from blowing through their retirement savings, utterly hellbent on cutting their own retirement safety net?
I have no idea whatsoever. While I’m sure someone like Charles Lane is well-to-do, I doubt his Washington Post position has insulated him from having to worry about retirement. I am becoming increasingly convinced, however, that many U.S.-ians ‘think’ that if they believe the same things rich people do that they will somehow become rich themselves–and that if they do not, then they are the lost and the damned.
Intelligent Designer help us.
And because I can: