Grist for the Mill

Carol Platt Liebau

1/9/2013 10:30:00 AM - Carol Platt Liebau

Days tick by, and still Republicans are doing nothing to focus public attention on the debt and entitlement crisis -- a necessary precursor to having any hope of winning a public debate over the upcoming debt ceiling stand-off.

If they need grist for their mill -- facts behind their arguments -- they need to consider some of the sobering statistics set forth in a Hertage Foundation white paper:

* More than 40% of Americans are on some kind of government assistance (and that's almost surely an undercount).

*The number of people receiving government assistance has grown more than two times faster than the US population.

* Measured in constant dollars -- measuring the amount spent solely due to government programs --spending on dependence-creating federal programs has grown by 180% over the last 25 years.


It doesn't require a rocket scientist, math geek or psychic to read the writing on the wall: Such levels of spending are simply unsustainable.

Nile Gardiner lays out the stakes for anyone who cares to traffic in reality: If real measures to reform spending and entitlements do not occur, we are not just talking about higher taxes and a staggering economy (though those will be inevitable byproducts).  The very existence of the United States as a world superpower -- and hence the stability of the world -- is at stake.

The GOP needs to focus public attention on the very real consequences of allowing inaction to determine the course of national and world events.  The Democrats may not care -- President Obama, after all, promised to change the country fundamentally -- but to the extent that regular Americans do, there is still time, with reasonable measures, to avert a looming catastophe.