We Need MAJOR Reforms to Fix the Entitlement spending crisis

May 22, 2008

Congressman Paul Ryan in Wednesday’s WSJ:

While Congress will have a partisan debate over the federal budget this week, there is a growing, bipartisan consensus about the greatest threat to our nation’s long-term economic prosperity: the explosion of entitlement spending. Unfortunately, Washington is not planning to address that problem this week, or any time soon. By doing nothing, we are shackling our future with unsustainable debt and taxes.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the rest of government will consume nearly 40% of the economy by the time my three young children reach my age (38). This will require more than doubling the average tax burden of the past 40 years just to keep the government afloat. Continuing down this path will eventually strangle our economy.

Ryan’s reform proposals cover health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, and tax reform. The fact that I agree with Ryan’s policy proposals is a little beside the point of this post.

The economic challenges our country faces as a result of the coming demographic shift are huge — the longer we wait to address them, the worse they could potentially be.

Problem is, the best reforms would so drastically challenge the status quo – not to mention special interests – that it’s hard to see them happening without major change in the people running our government.

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