Let's get serious

November 27, 2012 


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.

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