Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the Tea Party and the Prospects for Entitlement Reform


In her latest Forbes column, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia digs into the campaigns of prominent Tea Party candidates and finds that they are more serious about entitlements than entitlement reform. These candidates came out guns blazing against out-of-control federal spending. But when it comes to doing something about the biggest culprit in this spending—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—they have turned from macho to mush. The most distressing switcheroo, she notes, has been pulled by the apostle of limited government and free markets himself, Kentucky's Rand Paul. As Dalmia writes:

A doctor himself, he denounced Medicare as socialized medicine. Yet he has balked at the idea of cutting physician salaries, even though American physicians make twice as much as doctors in OECD countries. Why? Because their cartel, the American Medical Association, both restricts the supply of physicians through insanely restrictive licensure requirements and controls the Medicare board that determines physician compensation, as the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Yet, Paul now maintains: "Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living." (But he is just being fair—not pleading for his special interest of course!)…

Read all about it here.