Here is Daniel Mitchell writing at CNS News about what’s really causing our fiscal problems:
Writing about federal spending last week, I shared five charts illustrating how the process works and what’s causing America’s fiscal problems.
Most important, I showed that the ever-increasing burden of federal spending is almost entirely the result of domestic spending increasing much faster than what would be needed to keep pace with inflation.
And when I further sliced and diced the numbers, I showed that outlays for entitlements (programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare) were the real problem.
John Cogan, writing for the Wall Street Journal, summarizes our current predicament.
Since the end of World War II, federal tax revenue has grown 15% faster than national income—while federal spending has grown 50% faster. … all—yes, all—of the increase in federal spending relative to GDP over the past seven decades is attributable to entitlement spending. Since the late 1940s, entitlement claims on the nation’s output of goods and services have risen from less than 4% to 14%. … I
f you’re seeking the reason for the federal government’s chronic budget deficits and crushing national debt, look no further than entitlement programs. … entitlement spending accounts for nearly two-thirds of federal spending. … What about the future? Social Security and Medicare expenditures are accelerating now that baby boomers have begun to collect their government-financed retirement and health-care benefits. If left unchecked, these programs will push government spending to levels never seen during peacetime. Financing this spending will require either record levels of taxation or debt.
Here’s a chart from his column. Only instead of looking at inflation-adjusted growth of past spending, he looks at what will happen to future entitlement spending, measured as a share of economic output.
And he concludes with a very dismal point.
… restraint is not possible without presidential leadership. Unfortunately, President Trump has failed to step up.
I largely agree. Trump has nominally endorsed some reforms, but the White House hasn’t expended the slightest bit of effort to fix any of the entitlement programs.
Read more: CNSNews.com
Image credit: www.thefederalist.com.