Well, here’s my snap review of the State of the Union address: it was essentially a foreign policy speech with some small potato domestic proposals thrown in. But on the enormous issue of entitlement spending, everything President Bush said was 100% accurate:
We must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending, or entitlements. This year, the first of about 78 million Baby Boomers turn 60, including two of my Dad's favorite people - me, and President Bill Clinton. This milestone is more than a personal crisis - it is a national challenge. The retirement of the Baby Boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the Federal government. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire Federal budget. And that will present future Congresses with impossible choices - staggering tax increases, immense deficits, or deep cuts in every category of spending.This dire conclusion has been reported by public and private institutions alike and the Democrats are well aware of the looming crisis. Nevertheless, they actually celebrated* their obstruction to reform while offering no solutions of their own.
Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security [*Democrats cheer], yet the rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away - and with every year we fail to act, the situation gets worse. So tonight, I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of Baby Boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This commission should include Members of Congress of both parties, and offer bipartisan answers. We need to put aside partisan politics, work together, and get this problem solved.Half a loaf, I suppose. This is the umpteeth commission on entitlements and I’m skeptical it will succeed because of the continuing bad faith of the Democrats who are incapable of looking at policy without keeping a stray eye on political gain.
Extra – From Michael Graham on the Corner: “When Democrats began celebrating wildly the fact that they have done nothing to rescue Social Security, they handed Bush an opportunity to step away from the text and point out the partisan cynicism of celebrating failure. My comment would have been "Remember that applause 13 years from now when Social Security goes broke."” Exactly right.