The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Little Courage

09/28/2019

The President has signed the annual Federal budget on Tuesday, preventing yet another government shutdown for the next two months.  Keep in mind that over 60% of that budget is non-discretionary, which means Congress is already legally required to spend certain monies, like paying interest on the national debt or entitlements like Social Security, which is truly a “third-rail” of budgetary politics, killing any politician who attempts to control that spending.  Even our 6’2″ President is afraid of that rail.

However, the diminutive 5’8″ President of France is not afraid.  Wisely, he didn’t suggest the current retirement age be increased.  Instead, he suggests there must be a minimum number of years worked.  If you worked 40 years, you get a bigger check that if you never worked, similar to the U.S. but alien to the French.  Here, we average a person’s pay over 35 years to determine the amount, subject to certain ceilings.  France pension checks will be based on years, not wages.  As bad as entitlement spending is in our country, it is far worse in France, where entitlement spending is almost sacred.  Their official retirement age is only 62, which is much too early to be affordable.  Reducing the number of people eligible is an act of courage.

You don’t need to be a big guy to show courage . . .

 

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