The nation's budget future is awash in red ink

  • 10 August 2016
  • NormanL
The nation's budget future is awash in red ink

The Congressional Budget Office has released its long-term fiscal outlook, and the news is incredibly bad, though unsurprising for anyone who has been paying attention:

First, and most important, we have a very important admission from CBO that the long-run issue of ever-rising red ink is completely the result of spending growing too fast.

As it has been for years. The federal government takes in gobs of tax dollars -- and the take is projected to get even bigger in the years to come. But spending is growing even faster, and the primary culprit is...entitlements:

MedicareMedicaidObamacare, and other government health entitlements are projected to consume ever-larger chunks of economic output.

This should come as no surprise, either. Nor should the idea that Obamacare has utterly failed to curtail the rise in health care costs.

The fiscal mess is compunded by the political class -- of both parties, and all persuasions -- that seems utterly unable, and unwilling, to curb spending. Doing this isn't just politically difficult. It's often professionally suicidal. No member of Congress wants to be seen as a perpetual Grinch who refuses to throw money at the problem of the moment in order to avoid the fiscal reckoning that will come some day.

That, many electeds believe, will be someone else's problem. Let them fix it.

Far better if we insisted on fixing problems now -- even a little bit would be a great start.