Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Entitlement nation

When it comes to the slowly-dawning reality that entitlement spending will crowd out everything we call the "government", Robert Samuelson is a kindred soul:
An aging population and higher health spending automatically increase budget outlays, which induce the president and Congress to curb spending on almost everything else, from defense to food stamps. Over the next decade, all the government's projected program growth stems from Social Security and health care, including the Affordable Care Act. By 2024, everything else will represent only 7.4 percent of national income (gross domestic product), the lowest share since at least 1940, says Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office.
As I've noted many times, when discretionary spending is squeezed down to a limited number of options, the government essentially does no "governing."  Instead, it's just going to take money from one group of Americans and send it along to another group.

Of course, this will always have the enthusiastic support of the latter.

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