Greece does edge us out on annual spending relative to GDP. It spends more than half its GDP, while our combined federal, state and local spending runs between 35 and 40 percent of GDP. Before you get depressed that Greece beats us in this category, be aware that once our entitlement programs 'really kick in', federal spending will soar to more than 43 percent of GDP. When you add state and local spending, we?ll be approaching 60 percent of GDP, again dwarfing the debt-pretender Greece. And wait until the new Obamacare entitlement is fully operative.
Don't let your eyes glaze over these numbers. Just understand that we are in staggeringly desperate financial straits, which will inevitably bankrupt us if we don't implement reform -- and soon. Our funded liabilities are growing by more than $10 trillion a year.
But Democrats are steadfastly refusing to tackle the problem. While physical and fiscal tornadoes create their wide path of destruction, President Obama, Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic leadership have decided to attack Paul Ryan and the GOP with fear tactics and lies, offering nothing credible of their own to address either the short-term problems or the long-term ones.
While the Democrats' main line of attack is the fraudulent claim that Ryan is destroying Medicare, their own ideas actually do directly assault Medicare, which will only be 'saved' by rationing. But the truth is that Medicare simply cannot be salvaged in any meaningful form without major restructuring such as Ryan has proposed.
Democrats are smugly savoring what they claim as a victory in NY-26, because they employed their demagogic attacks on Medicare in that race. Senate Democrats, instead of offering their own plan, tried to put Republicans on the defensive by forcing a vote on the Ryan budget, which went down to a 57-40 defeat. When Republicans tried to flush Senate Dems out to vote on Obama?s plan, a procedural vote to move forward on it failed 97-0, while Obama sipped wine in Europe. These people aren't serious. The only semblance of a plan they?ve forwarded involves tax increases and rationing by a board of robotic, heartless bureaucrats. Tanner, like so many sensible others, reminds us that we can?t tax ourselves out of this problem. Greece tried it.
Republicans will make a mistake if they continue to be in counterattack mode, waiting for the latest Democratic broadside to respond. They should be on the airwaves every morning and every night presenting the nightmarish facts and their proposal to end the nightmare and exposing the Democrats for the reckless rogues they are. Time's running out.