by Dan Mitchell - March 30, 2017
Six Sobering Charts about America’s Grim Future from CBO’s New Report on the Long-Run Fiscal Outlook
I sometimes feel like a broken record about entitlement programs. How many times, after all, can I point out that America is on a path to becoming a decrepit European-style welfare state because of a combination of demographic changes and poorly designed entitlement programs?
But I can’t help myself. I feel like I’m watching a surreal version of Titanic where the captain and crew know in advance that the ship will hit the iceberg, yet they’re still allowing passengers to board and still planning the same route. And in this dystopian version of the movie, the tickets actually warn the passengers that tragedy will strike, but most of them don’t bother to read the fine print because they are distracted by the promise of fancy buffets and free drinks.
We now have the book version of this grim movie. It’s called The 2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook and it was just released today by the Congressional Budget Office.
If you’re a fiscal policy wonk, it’s an exciting publication. If you’re a normal human being, it’s a turgid collection of depressing data.
But maybe, just maybe, the data is so depressing that both the electorate and politicians will wake up and realize something needs to change.
I’ve selected six charts and images from the new CBO report, all of which highlight America’s grim fiscal future.
The first chart simply shows where we are right now and where we will be in 30 years if the policy is left on autopilot. The most important takeaway is that the burden of government spending is going to increase significantly.
Interestingly, even CBO openly acknowledges that rising levels of red ink are caused solely by the fact that spending is projected to increase faster than revenue.
And it’s also worth noting that revenues are going up, even without any additional tax increases.
The bottom part of this chart shows that revenues from income tax will climb by about 2 percent of GDP. In other words, more than 100 percent of our long-run fiscal mess is due to higher levels of government spending. So it’s absurd to think the solution should involve higher taxes.
This next image digs into the details. We can see that the spending burden is rising because of Social Security and the health entitlements. By the way, the top middle column on “other noninterest spending” shows one thing that is real, which is that defense spending has fallen as a share of GDP since the mid-1960s, and one thing that may not be real, which is that politicians somehow will limit domestic discretionary spending over the next three decades.
This bottom left part of the image also gives the details on built-in growth in revenues from the income tax, further underscoring that we don’t have a problem of inadequate revenue.
Here’s a chart that shows that our main problem is Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.
Last but not least, here’s a graphic that shows the number of fiscal policy changes that would be needed to either reduce or stabilize government debt.
I think that’s the wrong goal, and that instead the focus should be on reducing or stabilizing the burden of government spending, but I’m sharing this chart because it shows that spending would have to be lowered by 3.1 percent of GDP to put the nation on a good fiscal path.
Some folks think that might be impossible, but I’ll simply point out that the five-year de facto spending freeze that we achieved from 2009-2014 actually reduced the burden of government spending by a greater amount. In other words, the payoff from genuine spending restraint is enormous.
The bottom line is very simple.
We need to invoke my Golden Rule so that government grows slower than the private sector. In the long run, that will require genuine entitlement reform.
Or we can let America become Greece.
Dan Mitchell on Trump, Entitlements, and the Burden of Government Spending (video)
*Follow the WEF trail to Switzerland to discover the Khazarian Mafia hiding behind Klaus Schwab and his cohorts. The US and its people have nothing to do with the disasters caused to the ordinary people of the Earth.
The Khazarians have once again constructed an intricate web, whose aim is to destroy the world's economy by setting people up against each other, blocking each other's supply chains, leaving just death and ruins.
What everybody must be aware of is that this is not a war to prevent Putin from occupying Ukraine, but an attempt by the evil Khazarian Jews/WEF/NATO to control yet another country in their growing New World Order. They are simply using Ukraine as a battlefield. Their plan is to destroy totally the world's economy and turn the population into slaves.
Like the Freemasons, they have also life-threatening rules in their membership, one being REVENGE, 10 times harder than was ever perpetrated on them.
Russia in particular, in the past, has expelled the Khazars several times. I have all of 7 detailed articles in book format on the Khazarian Jews if anybody is interested in further information.
Putin, and earlier also Trump, are the ONLY Presidents who have enough guts to see what they are attempting to do to the world population and have sufficient courage to do something about it.
The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehavior acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.
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