John Stossel

Higher taxes are not a good solution because taxation suppresses economic activity by transferring capital to politicians. Yet our only hope is a sustained economic boom.

As Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., points out: "You literally cannot tax your way out of this problem. It's not mathematically possible. ... You wipe out the middle class."

Well, how about borrowing? That might mean raising interest rates, which, again, would depress economic activity. Even then, lenders such as China may soon be too nervous to lend Uncle Sam more money. Moody's recently announced it might downgrade America's credit rating.

The most likely outcome is that the Fed will print more money, inflating the currency, so that the creditors are paid with less-valuable dollars. Our purchasing power will disappear.

The architects of the welfare state sure have left us a big mess. Yet hardly anyone talks about entitlements, except to add new ones.

De Rugy asks: Why can't people take care of their own retirement by investing the money government now takes? Had we done this all along, the looming problem would have been averted. Instead, "We're about to witness the biggest, most massive transfer of wealth from the relatively young and poor people of society to the relatively old and wealthy people in society."

Our forefathers would be appalled. After the American Revolution, when the new government was debating how to pay its bills, George Washington said this about a national debt: "We should avoid ungenerously throwing upon posterity ... the burden we ourselves ought to bear." Well, we sure are dumping my generation's debt onto posterity. I wish we had more politicians like George Washington.

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate