Matt Towery

 This has been widely discussed in terms of the Social Security system, in which fewer workers are going to have to provide for more and more retirees.

 But that may only be the start. Our poll also revealed that an overwhelming number of seniors believe they should be provided with more consumer protection services than they're now getting. That will take more money for law enforcement and the judicial system to stay abreast of new criminal schemes as quickly as the bad guys can invent them.

 Further, the poll showed that about three out of four seniors are worried that their retirement money isn't going to be enough to sustain them in relative comfort and security for the rest of their lives.

 And don't forget prescription drugs and their costs. Our poll revealed that 39 percent of American seniors want the right to buy drugs over the Internet, while 34 percent did not. The rest didn't know or had no opinion.

 When you consider that many seniors never even go online, 39 percent suddenly looks like a big number.

 So what's a country to do? Budget ahead and innovate.

 Maybe the president's privatization of Social Security isn't an example of sound reform. But neither is reflexively hanging on to old methods in the face of new challenges. It's not 1965 anymore, and Lyndon Johnson isn't president.

 Stiffer penalties for new, cyber-crimes are called for, as are stronger protections of online personal information and regulation -- yes, regulation -- of Internet commerce, so that senior shut-ins can get the prescriptions they need.

 Above all, members of Congress must look beyond short-term political gain and do what's just plain right.

 Democrats shouldn't oppose a policy just because a GOP president sponsored it. And Republicans shouldn't snuggle up to the pharmaceutical industry, thereby keeping seniors from finding new and cheaper ways to obtain drugs just so the GOP can rake in more campaign contributions.

 What's called for is the hardest thing for our politicians -- new solutions for old problems. It's time to get real.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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