Thursday, February 17, 2011

Entitlements—A Debate Deferred

By Howard Rich
Washington politicians have worked themselves into a fine lather lately debating spending cuts. Yet as familiar rhetorical jabs are exchanged over proposed reductions to things like NPR and the National Archives, the real spending debate is being ignored.

I’m referring of course to the debate over “entitlements” — decades’ worth of multi-trillion dollar promises made by former Congresses that had no intention whatsoever of keeping any of them.

Once a distant dilemma, entitlements are now the “wolf at the door,” a present, pernicious threat to the immediate fiscal health of our nation. Yet as this unprecedented wave of red ink crests over our country — dwarfing the debate over discretionary spending — politicians of both parties remain incapable of leveling with the public regarding the damage to come.

In fact entitlement reform isn’t even part of the budgetary conversation.
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