Fiscal Child Abuse
BOSTON – The Bible enjoins us to do better unto our children than we would do unto ourselves: “From generation to generation.” But, in much of the developed world, we have foresworn that sacred pledge. For six decades, the watchword of our economic faith has been quite different: “Taketh from the young and giveth to the old.”
We have minded our words carefully in describing this moral transgression, lest we provide a clear record of our fiscal child abuse. Our debts are clothed primarily in benign-sounding language like “pension benefits” and “health-care benefits,” not official IOUs.
By calling what’s being taken from the young “taxes,” rather than “borrowing” – that is, a promise to repay far more than what’s being taken – the implicit debts have been intentionally kept off the books.