Terry Paulson

Taking a lead from Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol," the “Ghost of America’s Future” could point to a frightening future for America—a perfect storm of forces racing toward its natural conclusion, the Entitlement Crash of 2010! The Democrats gaining political dominance, the growing economic crisis and looming entitlement shortfalls, the cultural expectations of American citizens and the tax fatigue successful Americans will face are coming together to overwhelm the entitlement nirvana that many Americans have wanted to create.

Politically, Obama has the power, the media support and the precedence to make radical changes in America. Obama feels his election victory has given him a change mandate to produce benefits for the “victimized” middle class. The media continues to idolize Obama’s Messiah-like intellect and “transformational” vision. He’ll have a nearly filibuster-proof Democrat Senate and Congress ready to exercise its new-found power to pass more entitlement programs for citizens craving relief. He’s also been given the gift of a “Republican” President who’ll have justified Obama’s reliance on government spending as the answer to our economic malaise.

Economically, the crisis shows signs of growing. With more companies on the verge of bankruptcy, more citizens losing their jobs, homes and healthcare coverage, and state and local governments facing growing budget deficits, the frantic numbers pleading for help from Washington will only increase. Instead of corporations and citizens facing the challenge of adding value in a changing marketplace, they’ll be getting in line to “awfulize”—competing on how bad things are and why they need the next Washington bailout. Since most Democrats and some Republicans lack the political will to say “No,” the unfunded entitlements and the federal deficit will rapidly expand.

If Congress had to face the same scrutiny that they impose on corporate CEO’s, they’d all be going to jail. As a result of their past fiscal malfeasance, more economic challenges loom on the near horizon. Because there’s no Social Security Trust Fund set aside to pay for benefits, the exploding demands of retiring baby boomers leaving the workforce will add to our economic nightmare. Large states, heavily dependent on income and corporate tax revenue and strapped with entitlements and government employee pension commitments, are facing what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called a “financial Armageddon!”

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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