Shorter Washington Post op-ed:
Letting business run rampant is good policy and cutting your Social Security benefits is the patriotic thing to do.
Actual excerpts from the essay;
Our belief in free markets is founded on the idea that each individual acting in his or her self-interest will lead to a superior outcome for the whole. The financial crisis has reminded us that free markets are not perfect -- but they do allocate capital better than any other system we know. A "me first" mentality usually makes markets more efficient.
Cutting entitlement spending requires us to think beyond what is in our own immediate self-interest. But it also runs against our sense of fairness: We have, after all, paid for entitlements for earlier generations. Is it now fair to cut my benefits? No, it isn't. But if we don't focus on our collective good, all of us will suffer.
While it does not happen often, our political system is capable of making unpopular decisions that are in our collective best interest.
The challenge of entitlements is more difficult than the financial crisis: First, we must reach consensus to make cuts before the fiscal crisis is upon us.
Our leaders need to make the case for cutting entitlement spending by tapping into our shared beliefs of sacrifice and self-reliance.
The piece was written by Neel Kashkari
, who served as an assistant Treasury secretary during the George W. Bush administration. He led the Office of Financial Stability and ran the Troubled Assets Relief Program until May 2009. Remember him? He was that young (bald) fellow who participated in the bailout of Goldman Sachs and others via the AIG funnel.