The Moral Way Out

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Correctly calling entitlement spending "legalized theft", Walter Williams wonders whether there is a "way out" for a declining America, the vast majority of whose public is dissatisfied with her direction. Williams notes the enormity and recent growth in entitlement spending:

Let's look at a few of these entitlements. More than 40 percent of federal spending is for entitlements for the elderly in the forms of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing and other assistance programs. The Office of Management and Budget calculates that total entitlement spending comes to about 62 percent of federal spending. Military spending totals 19 percent of federal spending. By the way, putting those two figures into historical perspective demonstrates the success we've had becoming a handout nation. In 1962, military expenditures were almost 50 percent of the federal budget, and entitlement spending was a mere 31 percent. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that entitlement spending will consume all federal tax revenue by 2048.
Just by projections -- as if we can't ramp up our profligacy even more before then -- Big Trouble is just around the corner.

Williams identifies the origin of this mess in the moral attitudes and repect for law of the American public at large. He concludes:
If we are to be able to avoid ultimate collapse, it's going to take a moral reawakening and renewed constitutional respect -- not by politicians but by the American people. The prospect of that happening may be whistlin' "Dixie."
Although I share Williams' pessimism, the silver lining to his piece lies in the question he raised in its title, which I will note is rhetorical.

-- CAV

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