As difficult as it may be to believe, there was a time when
It's not that
How bad is it and what can be done about it?
It's this bad: The
The federal government is hardly starving for revenue.
The entire proposal can be found at manhattaninstitute.org, but here's his summation of the problem and his proposed solution.
First, the problem, which everyone knows, but few will face: "Today, one-third of the baby boomers have already retired, and another one-third will retire over the next six years. Annual budget deficits will soon pass $1 trillion on the way to $2 trillion and possibly $3 trillion in 10 or 15 years. Overall, the
"Without reform, runaway deficits will all but guarantee a debt crisis that will profoundly damage the country's economic and social order. There is still time to avoid that crisis, but it will require the nation's fractious political leaders to leave their respective comfort zones and compromise."
His solution: "Stabilize the national debt around 95 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through spending cuts and tax increases that gradually rise to 6 percent of GDP by 2048 against a current policy baseline, which in turn saves 3.7 percent of GDP in interest costs. In that year federal spending at 23.4 percent of GDP would be attached with revenues at 20.1 percent of GDP." Sound complicated? Read the entire proposal for a detailed explanation, along with definitions.
The biggest problem, though, is that too many Americans have an entitlement mentality, the notion that government somehow owes them something. For some, government has become a first resource, instead of a last resort. Industry and personal responsibility are character traits from a distant past, if people can even remember those days.
The notion that government owes us is a difficult concept to break, but someone has to begin the process, or the economy risks a fate that not even the wisdom of a
Politicians in both parties can't say they haven't been warned, but perhaps they believe they won't be around when the buck not only stops, but crashes, as it inevitably must.