Today, unfunded entitlements are the invisible rabbit of American politics; only a few fey folk see them. If there were a partisan angle to the controversy, no doubt one party would embrace reform. But because any solution will require both spending cuts and tax increases, entitlement reform is not a winning issue. Real reform would break the new American compact between politicians and their partisans -- which is that only adherents to the other party will have to compromise.
That's how Washington dug this hole. No spending cuts. No tax hikes. Debt on autopilot, compounded annually. Walker warns that unless the next president takes on the entitlement problem from Day One, "We're in trouble." We are in trouble. Today, you hear more about unfunded federal liabilities than you heard about the pending mortgage crisis two years ago. But Washington is not acting. And if this story reaches critical mass, then everyone will be in default.
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