"Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point, answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of the things that May be only?"
Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.
"Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!"
The Spirit was immovable as ever. -- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Even the United States of America is not immune to the rules of nature and commerce that govern other nations. Over the last few decades, our country has made some very foolish economic choices. It seems as if we have come to believe that the rest of the world is going to finance our government spending in perpetuity, even as it becomes clear that we have no intention of getting spending under control or paying back our debt. Because the wheels of history turn very slowly, we've gotten away with this for a long time, but as the baby boomers are starting to hit retirement age, the time to pay the piper is drawing nigh. In the next decade or two, we're likely to face a financial crisis more dire than any this nation has ever seen.
What is that going to mean in real terms? It means that barring an unforeseen miracle, our out-of-control spending is going to lead to some very painful decisions that will make a lot of people, including conservatives, very unhappy. What you're about to read are the ugly truths about what our behavior today means for our country's future.