Reason Magazine says that Senator Joe Manchin is one of the few adults in Congress. It reports that he said:
“We’ve been spending more than we bring in every year for the past 21 years, and the debt that has resulted from that is absolutely crippling,” he said, pointing out that presidents and congressional leaders from both parties are responsible for that long track record of busted budgets. “My Democratic friends don’t want to say a word about our out-of-control spending and are outright refusing to even talk to Republicans about reasonable and responsible reforms.”
“Our problem really isn’t a Republican problem or a Democratic problem, it’s an American problem,” he added. “We have a problem, and only if we start putting our country first and acting as Americans can we fix it.”
Again, he’s absolutely right. When Social Security goes insolvent, the benefit cuts won’t fall only on Republican voters or Democratic ones. The diminished standard of living that comes as a natural consequence of having too much debt will affect all Americans—and is particularly painful for those already living with less, regardless of whether they are living in a poor urban area or in eastern Kentucky. There’s no way to solve the debt and entitlement crises with zero-sum politics that filter everything through a stupid binary of Red vs. Blue, so most politicians simply choose to avoid the topic altogether.