Five Best Tuesday Columns

Ramesh Ponnuru on Social Security, Kimberley Strassel on the spirit of reforming governors, Sean Lennon on fracking, David Brooks on the "real" Romney, and Najmedin Meshtaki and Guive Mirfendereski on a relationship with Iran.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Ramesh Ponnuru in Bloomberg View on reining in Social Security The candidates have argued bitterly over Medicare, and Social Security reform has wrongly become an afterthought, Ponnuru argues. The gap looks small, but only compared to Medicare. To rein in costs, the government could reduce benefit levels, especially for high earners in the future, who currently will get bigger benefits. "One way or the other, we need to get Social Security’s finances in order, instead of acting as though there’s no problem to be solved."

Kimberley Strassel in Wall Street Journal on the spirit of reforming governors The Republican Party's vision for the country can be seen clearly in the spirit of reformist governors, like Mitch Daniels (pictured above) in Indiana. They've pursued overhauls once considered impossible, and "in many cases, the changes are already showing dramatic, positive economic results," Strassel writes. The governors' "ideas and economic successes are proof that free-market reforms work in practice," she says. "And they indicate the seriousness that a Romney-Ryan ticket could bring to the White House."

Sean Lennon in The New York Times on fracking near his parent's farm Lennon writes of a farm in upstate New York that his parents John Lennon and Yoko bought before his birth. His love for the farm led him to do a little research: "Don't be fooled," he said. "Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy. It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water." His father could have lived anywhere, but he chose this farm: "I suspect he chose to live here because being a New Yorker is not about class, race or even nationality; it’s about loving New York."

David Brooks in The New York Times on the real Romney Brooks writes a facetious piece on the real Romney biography: Romney was born, for example, in all the swing states. His first words were "I like to fire people," and he purchased a nursery at 24 months, which went under but not without Romney making "24 million Jujubes" on the deal. "Some have said that Romney’s lifestyle is overly privileged, pointing to the fact that he has an elevator for his cars in the garage of his San Diego home," Brooks writes. "This is not entirely fair. Romney owns many homes without garage elevators and the cars have to take the stairs."

Najmedin Meshkati and Guive Mirfendereski in the Los Angeles Times on a relationship with Iran Sanctioning won't change Iran's behavior and would result in further radicalization. Instead, the U.S. should try to build a relationship and use baby steps to overcome its "idealogical angst" with Iran, just as the U.S. did with the Soviet Union and China. Allowing Iran to slowly purchase goods and services will benefit both countries economically. "A fresh and bold approach to U.S.-Iran relations is not only desirable but imperative for the United States' national interests in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.