A reader writes:
Which parent gets the extra vote? Kinsley's proposal is modest, so to speak.
I vote for Mommy. Another writes:
From a cynical, strategic, political point of view - the possibility of explicit repudiation of retiree debt is an issue worth considering.
Right now, the GOP suffers from a demographic problem - their "base" consists mainly of older white voters; a demographic that is politically powerful due to a propensity to actually vote, but one which is slowly dying off. But what if, at some point, the GOP (or the Dems for that matter) were to replace the culture wars with generational warfare as their political cudgel - openly advocating repudiation of pension debt as a means of deficit-reduction-without-tax-increases? We've already seen Alan Simpson making snide remarks about the "greediest generation"; but most of the GOP establishment still panders to the elderly with dire warnings about "death panels" and such, hoping Obama will be the one to touch the third rail of US politics.
But as time passes and the Baby Boomers start to die and more Millennials come of age, I could see such lines of argument ("Grandpa didn't prepare for his own retirement - why should we pay for it?") becoming part of the political mainstream. We could easily see the social contract which underlies Social Security unravel, with both sides pointing fingers of blame at each other. And some really nasty demagogues (ones that make the brainless Sarah Palin look tame) could show up at any time to ride the strife to political power.