Did you ever see someone receiving an “entitlement” from the government say, “No thanks?” Did you ever see a Democrat who thinks Trump’s tax cuts are “Armageddon” return their refund to the government with a note that says, “As a good Democrat I cannot accept this?” Be sure to tell me if you have, because I surely never have. Why do you think the government calls them ENTITLEMENTS! Those receiving them completely buy into the name – I am ENTITLED to this money.
What are America’s favorite entitlement programs? Why Social Security and Medicare, of course. And one constantly hears the claim that it’s not an “entitlement” because “we paid for it.” American seniors state that these are not payments, but ‘repayments’ of money that they have been forced to hand over to the government. This is not true (see graph below). I realize there is an argument that if the same amount of money had been privately invested over the same period of time the results would be different and we would be better off. You’re speaking to the choir. I strongly support privatization of Social Security. But here we are talking about REALITY!
Why then, ask you, would I ever posit that they are going away? Simple, answer I, either they go away or our government goes bankrupt. As Daniel J. Mitchell puts it, it is the “Most Predictable Economic Crisis In History.” I encourage you to read his entire article from which I heavily draw in this post.
Mr. Mitchell has shown “that the ever-increasing burden of federal spending is almost entirely the result of domestic spending increasing much faster than what would be needed to keep pace with inflation.” He further shows us “that outlays for entitlements (programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare) were the real problem.”
He quotes John Cogan writing in the Wall Street Journal.
“Since the end of World War II, federal tax revenue has grown 15% faster than national income—while federal spending has grown 50% faster. …all—yes, all—of the increase in federal spending relative to GDP over the past seven decades is attributable to entitlement spending… If you’re seeking the reason for the federal government’s chronic budget deficits and crushing national debt, look no further than entitlement programs. …entitlement spending accounts for nearly two-thirds of federal spending.
How much are we talking about to pay the promised benefits, ask you? It’s a mere $82 trillion, answer I. Social Security and Medicare account for 72 percent of all inflation-adjusted federal-spending growth.
The end is near. It may be 15 years or 20 years, but eventually these programs can no longer be supported.