Americans “Eating Our Seed Corn,” Sen. Corker Warns

Apr 5, 2012

U.S. Cannot Afford To Continue Losing Money On Medicare, He Tells Rotarians.


During their lifetimes, an average American couple will pay about $119,000 into Medicare, Senator Bob Corker said Thursday in Chattanooga.


 But when it comes time to collect, he told members of the Downtown Rotary Club, the same couple will receive an estimated $357,000 in benefits.


The dirty little secret in politics, the senator said, is that everybody knows the U.S. “can no longer afford to provide citizens with benefits they do not pay for” – and that nobody in power wants to do anything about it because Medicare has a huge constituency.


 “We as a nation are eating our seed corn . . . we’re not doing the things needed to make us strong,” he warned.


 Previous efforts to find ways to reduce the federal deficit were well intended, he said, but did not get down to brass tacks on exactly which taxes to raise and which benefits to cut.


 For example, he said, the widely popular deficit plan created by President Barack Obama’s Deficit Commission – chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson – was well intended. One suggested option, “The Zero Plan,” would slash tax expenditures, set aside $80 billion each year to reduce the deficit, and use resulting gains in revenue to cut tax rates.


 “But they left out all the details,” he said. “That’s what’s so popular . . . we’re going to change that.”


 Reducing entitlements and amending the tax code, together, “would create a tremendous wind at our backs.”


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