When they [Tea Partiers] propose cuts in Medicare, means-testing Social Security, a raising of the retirement age and a cut in defense spending, I'll take them seriously and wish them well.In the sense that I support a single-payer healthcare system, I'm actually in favor of an expansion of Medicare, but if we're going to talk about balancing the budget, popular scapegoats like earmarks, farm subsidies, or food stamps aren't going to get us there. They're not even going to get us started. Let's have a real political discussion about what we want government to do (and realize that we're never all going to agree, and that elections are a valid way of helping to settle—and unsettle, and re-settle—those questions), and agree that whatever it is that government does, we have to be willing to pay for it.
Until then, I'll treat them with the condescending contempt they have thus far deserved.
And let's extend that principle to our states and communities. No more demanding that everything get cut as long as it only affects someone else. Fund the schools. Fund the police (and emergency services). Fund the library and the bus. Each of these things is worth paying for.