From Bruce Bartlett - “Republicans sell out on entitlement reform”:
One of the more amusing lines in President Bush's State of the Union Address last month was his call for yet another commission to study the problem of entitlement spending. Entitlements are programs that do not require annual appropriations. The money is paid out automatically to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. Spending cannot be capped because people have a legal right to their benefits. Hence, spending for entitlements can only be reduced by changing the basic law applying to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.And that ain’t gonna happen, even if Alan Greenspan, Jesus and Elvis chaired the new commission. With millions of baby boomers about to belly up to the entitlement bar, I fear the opportunity for reform has come and gone.