Here are today's must read opinion and editorial columns.
MEDICARE SAVES MONEY BY PAUL KRUGMANNEW YORK TIMESPrivatizing health insurance for seniors, which is what Mr. Lieberman is in effect proposing — and which is the essence of the G.O.P. plan — hurts rather than helps the cause of cost control. If we really want to hold down costs, we should be seeking to offer Medicare-type programs to as many Americans as possible.
WHAT THE INSPECTORS SAY EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESIt appears that Iran’s enrichment program is not advancing as fast as many feared — the result of the Stuxnet computer virus and sanctions that make it harder for Tehran to import needed materials from overseas. That has not blunted its ambitions. The Iranians said on Wednesday that they plan to triple production of the most concentrated nuclear fuel — the kind that could get them closer to a bomb.
OBAMA, WHERE ARE THOSE 'HARD TRUTHS' YOU PROMISED? BY FRED HIATTWASHINGTON POSTThe hard truth, in other words, is that there will have to be compromise. Should we be soothed by those who tell us it is likely to be achieved in 2013? ... We are always somewhere in the election cycle. Compromise will require a leader to put the national interest first, to take a chance on delivering hard truths, not just promising them. That will be no easier, and no less risky, in 2013 than it is today.
GRIDLOCKING THE LIVES OF THE JOBLESS BY E.J. DIONNEWASHINGTON POSTYes, we need a budget deal, and my hunch is we’ll get one. But all the spending cuts in the world will do Obama no good if unemployment next year is anywhere close to where it is now. Changing the message and the policies coming out of Washington is urgent. A deficit deal that ignores the unemployed will flunk the dual test the voters set up in 2010.
HOW TO AVOID A LOST DECADE BY LAWRENCE SUMMERSWASHINGTON POSTAt a near-term cost of a little more than $200 billion, these measures offer the prospect of significant improvement in economic performance over the next few years translating into significant increases in the tax base and reductions in necessary government outlays. We averted Depression by acting decisively in 2008 and 2009. Now we can avert a lost decade by recognizing current economic reality.
HOW WE'RE MEETING THE JOB CREATION CHALLENGE BY JEFF IMMELT & KEN CHENAULTWALL STREET JOURNALAmerica needs more growth. The United States needs to reverse trends that developed over a long period of time, and the solutions aren't easy politically, socially or economically. The economic decisions we make now will determine American job creation and competitiveness in the years to come. Government, business and labor need to work together to get this done.