The Progressives’ Legacy: Debt, Deficit, and Entitlements

Here is Bruce Thornton writing at Front Page Mag about debt, deficits, and entitlements — the Progressive legacy that was clearly made possible by conservatives’ failure in the information war:

The high cost of rejecting human nature and simple mathematics.

Last week Senator Rand Paul briefly shut the government down in protest of the $500 billion spending bill recently signed by the president. This latest binge will by 2027 increase to $800 billion the already $300 billion we currently spend on servicing the $20 trillion national debt. And that projected increase assumes interest rates at 3.5%. The debt-driving deficits are again approaching $1 trillion a year, meaning the debt will continue to expand beyond 100% of GDP, reaching $30 trillion in a decade.

But like Troy’s Cassandra, who for ten years accurately predicted the city’s destruction, Senator Paul was no more successful at alerting people to the coming calamity. Nor are any of the other fiscal hawks likely to do so either. The majority of citizens and politicians have no interest in our looming fiscal disaster, for they have become used to thinking that entitlements are “rights.”

The fiscal problem is one of simple mathematics. We spend much more than we take in from tax-paying citizens, which leads to more and more borrowing to make up the shortfall. And we have made promises to the people––Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid––that we have not funded adequately, and that now account for nearly two-thirds of the annual budget. Social Security alone has unfunded liabilities of about $34 trillion, and that’s not as bad as Medicare’s $49 trillion. Worse yet, every day 10,000 Baby Boomers retire, meaning the beneficiaries will continue to expand. And right behind the Boomers are the 66 million Millennials. We’re looking at decades and decades of relentlessly increasing expenditures and the borrowing required to pay for them.

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