Friday, September 21, 2007

Just one more...

...and I'll call it a night.

Tonight's News Station (yes, I know it has not been worth a damn since around the turn of the millenium) highlighted a division in society, one for whom the promises made by politicians could end up really messing up the country's fiscal balance.

No, not the rural district / urban district divide. The other one.

It seems that Kōmeitō got a bee in its bonnet over the plan to force 70-74 year olds to start kicking in 20% at the doctor's office, rather than the 10% they are currently paying, starting April 2008. The Clean Government Party wants a freeze in the plan to the raise the personal contribution rate...for how long, nobody knows.

Of course, if this jump in personal contributions is frozen, the immediate shortfall in predicted revenues due will have to be made up by entire country, including those already paying their 20%.

Somehow April 2008 is the wrong time for this little bit of fiscal adjustment. Does anyone know why? There are no elections scheduled.

Finance Minister Nukaga Fukushirō, Amaterasu bless him, is fulfilling his role as the nation's finger-wagging maiden auntie. He has unloaded on the Kōmeitō for their act of fiscal apostasy.

How did this (there are a few more details to the plan, including a possibly sensible freeze on cuts in child support disbursements) get into the mix of ideas jostled about during the month between the July 29 wipeout and the August 27 picking of a new Cabinet? And who, aside from the suprement leaders of the Kōmeitō, signed off on it?

The last thing the incoming prime minister needs right now is for the LDP's coalition partner to starting to play footsie with senior citizens. An internal fight over whether or not to pander to senior voters has only one outcome: pandering to seniors voters--because darn it, seniors seem to live in every damn electoral district and municipality in the country.

And they vote. Early and often.

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