Let me tell you a quick story about one of the most marvelous and intriguing beasts in the animal kingdom. The African impala is a graceful animal, full of raw force and power. It possesses the ability to jump 13 feet high from a standing position and as much as 30 feet out, with little more than a few gallops.
Yet if you visit any zoo today, you can view the impala protected only by a three-foot wall. When the impalas are young, they are taught that they cannot jump over that tiny wall, despite their great, instinctual abilities. The reason? Zookeepers manipulate a weakness in the adults to limit their full potential. A full-grown impala will hesitate and ultimately not leap over an object unless it can see where it’s going to land. So long as zoo personnel keep the other side out of view, it hinders the impala from something it is fully capable of doing.
We have a similar inability in Washington today. Congressional leaders are paralyzed by their lack of faith to see this country through to the other side of prosperity and greater economic freedom we have not known in over a generation.
The ensuing debate over spending, debt ceilings, and entitlement reforms holds far more than the process hostage. Our entire system of government hangs in a delicate balance.
Government does not create anything. It does not manufacture a good, or yield a product that’s traded on the open market. Instead, it confiscates our individual monies and redistributes those funds in a manner it deems best. In that regard, money is the lifeblood of government; without which it essentially ceases to exist.
Hence the reason that this time, this current debate over repairing and repaying our national debt is so critical. For if our government falls, the institutions that have come to rely on that “full faith and credit” guarantee are in turn, capable of collapsing as well.
The evidence for reform is overwhelming. Just 50 years ago, discretionary spending in the federal budget was two-thirds of all federal outlays – an enormous amount of money spent for roads, bridges, infrastructure, education and defense. In the 60s, we put a man on the moon. Today, because of entitlement spending that’s mandatory, that ratio has flipped. Entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid now represent over two-thirds of all federal spending, and discretionary spending is shrinking. Payments on the debt alone are in the teens.
This time last month, non-partisan experts and actuaries – fiscal scientists – predicted that Medicare will run out of money five years earlier than expected in 2024. Social Security will collapse under its own weight in 2036.