Wednesday, October 02, 2013

100% mandatory spending

Boo-hoo, there's no government.  Get ready for the real thing, sooner than you think.  Kevin Williamson: "The real debt ceiling - What will happen in a decade or so, when default becomes inevitable?"
Interest payments are the only truly mandatory spending our federal government does, even though it treats a rather large category of outlays — from such minor expenditures as the presidential salary to big-ticket items such as Social Security and Medicare — as “mandatory.” Assuming that the CBO’s less-optimistic debt-service projections are somewhat accurate, then by 2023 those outlays will be quite close to projected revenues — and that’s absent any sort of economic crisis or interest-rate spike. Put another way, if we assume that Social Security checks and other entitlement liabilities are just as sacrosanct as interest on Treasury bonds, then we are already locked in on a course in which the cost of past promises will likely match or exceed present revenues, not at some far-off point in the future, but around the time today’s elementary-school students head off to college.
But remember that the Tea Party is the real enemy here.

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