The problems of such proposals are manifold, not the least of which is that they are simply impractical. Indeed, we are already in serious fiscal trouble without another mammoth entitlement.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the 2008 federal budget is estimated by the Office of Management and Budget to be $2,931 billion, of which $615 billion (21 percent) represents Social Security spending and $396 billion (14 percent) represents Medicare spending.
If entitlement spending accounts for 35 percent of the federal budget prior to the flood of new retirees and the arrival of socialized medicine, what will it look like after those developments?
Still, there may yet be hope.
The “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour” has been on the road since September 2005, and has presented in more than 35 cities with no current plans to slow down. Turnout at these events has ranged up to 600 people and, in order to educate young people, the venues are usually college campuses.
In the end, Walker believes we need a truly bipartisan and comprehensive commitment to resolving this issue on both the legislative and executive levels. Indeed, he has described the fiscal crisis as a “nonpartisan problem that cries out for a bipartisan solution.”
But despite the broad ideological agreement amongst some of the smartest minds in Washington, politicians remain apathetic to the crisis—a crisis that, according to Walker, may be equal to that of terrorism.
At a time when many observers have said that politics has become more bitter and partisan than ever before, there is an opportunity here for true statesmanship. Politicians entrusted to represent the concerns of their constituencies on a federal scale would do well to “wake up” and seize this critical opportunity.
Doug Wilson is the the co-author, with Edwin Feulner, of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today.
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