Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Entitlement Reform in Wall Street Journal

Federal Entitlement Reform....... You sleepy yet?

Not a sexy topic, but one that should scare any American. Entitlements -- those programs which are gauranteed to Americans year after year such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare -- are growing at a rate that is unsustainable for the next generation and the ones after that. Think about these three sobering realities that adults in the year 2050 (not that far away) will face if these programs are left as they are today:

1. Raising tax rates by 57%, (in today's dollars, each American family would need to pay $11,000 per year more in taxes), or
2. Spending Federal money on nothing (no education, no defense, etc.) except for Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, or
3. Increasing our federal debt, which is already too high, by about 13 times (this is already adjusted for inflation -- it will be way, way more than 13 times when you just look at the raw dollars)

Wow. I'm usually not a "sky is falling" type of person, but this is big. Nations don't survive this type of crisis. The demise of the Soviet Union was caused by... can you guess?.... spending too much of their GDP on one government expenditure. In their case, it was defense. In our case, it could be these entitlements.

The reason I'm writing all this is because it is my long way of telling you that Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin had a great OpEd in the Wall Street Journal on things we can do to fix this massive problem. Subscription is required to read it online, or you can find a copy of the 5/21/08 WSJ. I encourage anyone to read it. Kudos to Congressman Ryan for calling out the elephant in the room. Now let's start talking about how to fix it.

No comments:

Post a Comment