It may be taboo to admit it, but the post office, which still enjoys a government monopoly for regular mail delivery, has long stopped making sense. Today's conversations about the post office's future seem to revolve around keeping the half million postal workers employed, rather than it makes sense to have a government-sponsored postal service. That's not fair to taxpayers. Lawmakers can figure out a way to compensate the displaced postal workforce, but taxpayers shouldn't be forced to continue sinking resources into a fundamentally-unsound, and unnecessary, government program.
Social Security's financing challenges are more manageable, but the pressure that this program will soon place on the general budget (as payroll taxes become insufficient to cover ballooning benefit payments) should set off alarms and force lawmakers to make timely changes. For more than a decade, politicians on the left and right have acknowledged that Social Security isn't sustainable in the long-term...and yet the status quo continues. This shouldn't be acceptable.
Other aspects of Obamacare and existing health care programs should face the same evaluation as CLASS. Programs destined for fiscal ruin should be halted before they begin whenever possible, and reform should be mandatory for programs already underway.
Ironically, the CLASS initiative, which has now been fully exposed as a would-be fiscal disaster, was included in ObamaCare for the very purpose of masking the extent of the health care law's true deficit. CLASS was a money-saver for purposes of evaluating or “scoring” that legislation, which simply confirms that the current scoring system is a sad—and indeed, very damaging—joke.
Reforming the scoring system or creating safe-guards to phase out financially-unsound programs may not make for slick campaign ads or slogans. Yet this should be an urgent priority for this Congress and the next. Thanks to Senator Gregg, taxpayers have been spared another costly, ill-conceived program. The experience of CLASS shouldn't be the outlier, but should be standard procedure for future programs and for reviewing those already in existence.
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