Two Tweets That Explain the Entitlements Debate

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 26 2014 7:19 AM

The Entitlements Debate, in Two Tweets

187122515-senate-finance-committee-ranking-member-orrin-hatch
Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) speaks during a hearing on health insurance exchanges.

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Here's Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) arguing that it's bad for the government to try to reduce the amount of money it spends bolstering the living standards of senior citizens:

And here's Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) arguing that it's bad for the Obama administration to refuse to reduce the amount of money it spends bolstering the living standards of senior citizens:

Do note here, however, that while there is hypocrisy about entitlements in the air, it's not a question of pure hypocrisy. The CPI issue and the Medicare Advantage issue differ from each other in that while some of the benefits of excessively generous Medicare Advantage payments make their way to senior citizens, a fair amount of the value is captured by insurance companies and doctors and hospital executives. Hatch's proposal on chained CPI is to simply reduce cash Social Security payments, directly taking money out of the pockets of the elderly.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data

Culturebox

The Real Secret of Serial

What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Oct. 23 2014 3:47 PM Ukraine’s Slow Descent Into Madness While it fights rebels in the east, Kiev is beginning to crumble from the inside.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 23 2014 2:36 PM Take a Rare Peek Inside the Massive Data Centers That Power Google
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 3:23 PM This Is What Bette Midler Covering TLC’s “Waterfalls” Sounds Like
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.