John Stossel

But the chances of bigger cuts -- or tackling the biggest threat, Medicare -- seem remote when government won't even ditch budget items like these:

  • --$140,000 to study pig feces in China.
  • --$100,000 for a video game about aliens saving planets from climate change.
  • --$88,000 for a comedy tour in India called "Make Chai, Not War."
  • --$55,000 to study immaturity and drinking.

Did those sound like jokes? They are all too real.

Maybe I -- and people my age -- can avoid making cuts. Since so much spending is lavished on older Americans, we can let younger generations foot the bill. But that will be tricky, since the portion of the population that's my age keeps getting larger.

My fellow baby boomers and I rudely refuse to die, and we want all the cool new stuff modern medicine invents. We expect it to be free, or nearly free, through Medicare.

Unfortunately, there aren't enough young people to pay for what we'll collect from Medicare. Birth rates are falling. Young people in America now don't have enough babies to replace themselves, let alone enough to become workers to fund Medicare. Worse, many of those young people learned bad lessons from us baby boomers -- like how to be parasites.

One student from California State, Northridge told my viewers that his plan for the future is: "Beat the system -- take out a bunch of loans, and don't pay them back. ... What (else) are you going to do, work?"

Well, someone has to.

Frederic Bastiat wrote, "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

But government, which wants you to think it is so useful and generous, can't spend a dime until it takes that dime from us.

It's time to stop kidding ourselves. Think of the sequester "cuts" as a very gentle wake-up call.


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 >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate

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