For all the talk in Washington about reforming health care while somehow, magically, containing the nation's burgeoning debt, precious little attention has focused on the prime drivers of the nation's spending -- entitlements.
For the first time in history national debt has passed $12 trillion. As more Treasury securities are sold to finance the federal deficit -- which reached a record $1.4 trillion this year -- these securities will compete with private securities. Private investment, as a result of government borrowing, will decrease.
Rather than pass the mounting bill to future generations, Congress must address the triple tsunamis: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending. Notes Nicola Moore of The Heritage Foundation, as Social Security IOUs are redeemed and health care costs drive up expenditures for Medicare and Medicaid, publicly held debt by 2050 will exceed 320 percent of gross domestic product, based on Congressional Budget Office figures.
But unfortunately, unlike an irresponsible homeowner who maxes out his credit, Congress needs only to vote itself a higher credit limit. The House last week approved boosting that ceiling by $290 billion.
Doing so without addressing the drain from existing entitlements -- never mind government's health care ambitions -- digs deeper the hole of this nation's despair.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.