Pat Buchanan

Consider that other entitlement, Medicaid.

Thanks to Obamacare, the number of beneficiaries of Medicaid is soaring. And even should the GOP capture the Senate in 2016, a Democratic minority would filibuster to death any bill to cut Medicaid.

As for interest on the debt, another major element in the budget, it has only one way to go, up. For the Fed freeze that has held interest rates near zero for five years must some day end.

Defense is the other big item in the budget. But while the wind-down of our trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has made cuts possible here, most of these have already been made.

And this week the House voted 326-90 to repeal the small cut in the COLA in pensions for working-age military retirees under 62, which was part of the bipartisan budget deal last fall. Members of Congress panic at any suggestion they are shortchanging the troops.

Yet, since Y2K, the cost of military personnel has doubled, while the number of those on active duty has fallen by 10 percent.

Last December, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, in their budget deal, raised discretionary spending in 2014 from the $967 billion it would have been under the sequester to $1.012 trillion.

Invariably, bipartisan budget deals between Capitol Hill liberals and conservatives move the ball further toward the liberals' goal line.

The farm bill just signed by President Obama contains a tiny cut in a food stamp budget that has exploded during his days in office. But nice new subsidies are in there for peanut and corn growers and producers of maple syrup. Embarrassed at what the House went along with, not one Republican Congressman showed up at the signing ceremony.

Can it be that the Tea Party's dream of a balanced budget, and of a government that ceases to eat up ever more of the GDP, is simply an act of self-delusion?

Have the beneficiaries of Big Government become so powerful that any champion of the national interest who challenges them in fixed battle invites almost certain defeat?

For today, America appears to be maintaining speed, or even accelerating, toward that cliff that they all warn us is out there.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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