All right, folks: Hold onto your wallets. The Government Accountability Office, the GAO, estimates that entitlement programs are running a long-term "shortfall" of... $45 trillion. That's the difference between what the government expects to take inand what it has promised to shell out over the next 75 years in Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement benefits.
Stating the obvious, the GAO head guy, David Walker, says: "Our government has made a whole lot of promises in the long term that it cannot possibly keep." Senator Judd Gregg, the Budget Committee's ranking Republican, warns that the longer we wait to fix this, the harder it'll be. And, as usual, there's talk of creating "bipartisan commissions" to punt the issue.
Now, these problems have one root, folks: liberal Democrats. Sorry to say it, but it's true! You can trace the massive expansion of entitlements to FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society programs. You can argue about the motives:whether these entitlements were born from good intentions, or whether they were designed to create dependency among large swaths of Americans, ensuring Democrats' eternalpower. But you can't argue with the results. Unreformed,they will bankrupt the nation.
And you cannot argue with one more thing. Even now, Democrats are proposing more massive entitlements--health care, education, and to cripple the private-sector economy over the global warming hoax. And that's whyI continue to tell youit's not Iraq, but the vision of the country's future, that's the central issue of next year's presidentialelection. Make book on it.