Earlier today, a college classmate asked me on Facebook to make the case for Mitt Romney. Among the arguments I made was that spending has skyrocketed under the incumbent president. And that same incumbent has put forward no plans to address the coming insolvency of federal entitlements.
Now comes a reports showing just how grim the picture is for our national debt, largely due to the burgeoning costs of those entitlements:
U.S. debt is on track to be nearly twice the size of the U.S. economy by 2037, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned Tuesday.
The new CBO report states that increased entitlement spending driven by the retirement of the baby boomers and insufficient revenue is making the long-term outlook for the national debt increasingly dire.
Sifting through the CBO report, James Pethokoukis highlights its “7 scariest facts“:
The aging of the population and the rising cost of healthcare would cause spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to grow from more than 10% of GDP today to almost 16% of GDP 25 years from now, equivalent to about $850 billion today. (By comparison, CBO says, spending on all of the federal government’s programs and activities, excluding net outlays for interest, has averaged about 18.5 percent of GDP over the past 40 years.)
To address this, the National Review’s Yuval Levin contends that
Medicare spending growth must be restrained, and it can be restrained in a way that drives innovation and efficiency and continues to provide guaranteed comprehensive coverage to seniors. Paul Ryan has shown us how, and the CBO today shows us why. One of the candidates in November’s presidential election has demonstrated that he understands this; the other would prefer to ignore it and to buy this failed system a few more years of denial through economically damaging tax increases.
Mitt Romney is the candidate who understands this pressing fiscal crisis. The presumptive Republican nominee may not be perfect, but at least he’s trying to prevent us from going over a fiscal cliff.
Obama seems oblivious to that cliff’s proximity.