For years the Post has used both its editorial and news pages to push the idea that Social Security and Medicare are unaffordable burdens for the U.S. economy. The paper almost never lets readers hear from any of the expert voices who question this assessment or shows any of the evidence that exposes it as being wrong.
Today, Ruth Marcus suggested that President Obama have a lecture series to explain to the American people that these entitlements are unaffordable. She also suggested that he offer his podium to dissenters, like Republican Congressman Paul Ryan who wants to privatize both Medicare and Social Security.
The question that millions are asking is does Marcus envision that President Obama would allow dissenters who oppose its austerity vision, or does she want him to be as one-sided as the Post? For example, should President Obama give his podium to someone who would show that there would be no budget problem if per person health care costs were the same in the United States as in any other wealthy country? Should podium users be allowed to point out that Medicare could save trillions over its 75-year planning period by just giving people the option to get care from countries with more efficient health care systems? Will the public be exposed to the idea that we could save trillions of dollars over the next decade by adopting a more efficient mechanism for developing prescription drugs.
It would be great if President Obama used his platform to educate the public about major economic issues. Unfortunately, I think that Ms. Marcus's intention was that this platform only be used to highlight Post approved views.