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Morici: Obama, GOP Make No Sense on Taxes and Spending

Americans are living longer and can work longer, the social security retirement age should be raised to 70; however, the federal pension system needs to address other challenges.

Americans working in the private sector can no longer count on employers to provide decent pensions, and IRAs and other tax-deferred savings schemes are not making up the difference -- for reasons including Americans' inability to save, the paucity of tax incentives, and lower interest rates and stock market returns.

Demographics require raising the retirement age, and politics will mandate bigger benefits once people get old enough. Republicans don't even want to talk about the latter but in the end, old people vote, and they will vote for Democrats who propose an expanded system once President Obama exits the scene -- he won't even recognize the need to raise the retirement age.

On health care, the nation spends too much -- 50% more than the private German and Dutch systems, who better regulate prices and get better results. Obama Care is not the answer -- subsidizing a broken system won't help -- but neither is the market system we had before it.

If the Republicans are serious about replacing Obama Care -- and slicing the Medicare and Medicaid spending -- they must embrace price regulations but that has as much chance of happening as I do playing shortstop for the New York Yankees.

This fall when the great America drama reprises -- negotiations between the president and Congress over the raising the debt ceiling -- Netflix could provide a great public service distributing gratis an appropriate classic: "Ship of Fools"!

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.
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