Let's get serious

November 27, 2012 

RICK ENGELMANN, Richland

Media reports and letters to the editor about the federal deficit make it clear the electorate is in self-denial about the federal deficit problem.

President Obama has consistently pitched the line that if only the rich would pay their "fair share," along with a few reductions to discretionary spending and a pinch of efficiencies, all would be well. The pitch sold on Nov. 6. Unfortunately, it only gets about 20 percent of the way to solving the revenue shortfall problem.

The real problem is entitlements -- Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security -- and unrealistic public demand that these benefits continue unchanged. Entitlements are grossly underfunded, and it's getting worse.

Note that Obama does not propose the rich fund the entire shortfall because he knows full well he could never get that kind of revenue from them (it would take virtually all of their income). So, he is silent on entitlement reform. The electorate doesn't want to hear about reform. He's seen what has happened to politicians who do speak up. Paul Ryan proposed a reform and was crucified. The president's own debt commission recommendations -- ignored by all.

Unless the nation gets serious about the entitlement problem, Greece and Spain, here we come.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service