With all the talk of the $16 trillion national debt, the question comes down to this: Do we tax more so we can spend more on entitlements? Or do make choices about which entitlements we spend on and keep taxes at their current level?
Nothing is a fatter target than health care spending. Our obligations for Medicare and Medicaid blow away everything else. We can tax ourselves into oblivion to pay for entitlements or choose to modify the way we give them and thereby change the social contract.
But we cannot spend money we don’t have year after year after year because it makes us a pauper nation. It puts us on the street corner of the world with a tin cup begging the Chinese for money to buy our bonds. We can’t be a political or economic power under those circumstances.
We’ve got problems in the world. We’ve got Putin acting more and more dictatorial. Then of course we’ve got Ahmadinejad in Iran. Problems are everywhere, but we have to get our own house in order first.
We are listless and we are directionless. The slogans from the GOP and the Democrats won’t get it done. We need to make tough choices. We have the resources. Now we just need the will to balance our priorities and ultimately balance our budget.