Robert Samuelson has a column out about a major issue that none of the presidential candidates are talking about: that is, the aging of the the baby boomer population. The numbers are staggering:
The 2030 projections are daunting. To keep federal spending stable as a share of the economy would mean eliminating all defense spending and most other domestic programs (for research, homeland security, the environment, etc.). To balance the budget with existing programs at their present economic shares would require, depending on assumptions, tax increases of 30 percent to 50 percent — or budget deficits could quadruple. A final possibility: Cut retirement benefits by increasing eligibility ages, being less generous to wealthier retirees or trimming all payments.
I have long considered the looming entitlement crisis the most
important domestic issue, and have tried to make the case to big
government neoconservatives that if we don’t deal with this mess
now, our ability to spend money on defense will suffer. There is
even evidence that this has already
Samuelson suggests as the beginning of a solution that some
Warren Buffett-like figure sponsor a book in which 6 leading think
tanks (three conservative and three liberal) offer their solutions,
with the goal of prodding the presidential candidates into talking
about it. Unfortunately, those of us who want action to resolve
this crisis are competing against human nature, which is always
focused on the short term. Once you talk about what is going to
happen in 2030, you lose the audience.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?