What happens when the unstoppable political force meets the inevitable political issue?:
In the poll, Americans across all age groups and ideologies said by large margins that it was “unacceptable” to make significant cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the federal deficit. Even tea party supporters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, declared significant cuts to Social Security “unacceptable.”
Doesn’t matter. Here’s the numbers. Show me what we’re going to do about it.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment and Welfare comprise 56.7% of the federal budget ($2.1 trillion.) Defense comprises another 18.7% (about $700 billion.) And interest, today, is a paltry 4.6% (primarily due to ZIRP). Interest expense will double even if we don’t add one more dollar of debt to the Federal side.
Not might double, will double.
And will do quite a bit more than that when interest rates return to historic norms. Color me skeptical that the Tea Party is going to be any more successful in holding the Republican Party’s feet to the fire when two-thirds of them won’t even look at the elephant in the room. Playing ostrich and declaring the inevitable to be unacceptable just isn’t going to accomplish anything.