The Obama Administration and its acolytes on the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission are propagating the myth that it is Social Security and Medicare that are driving the deficit over $1.5 trillion. Discretionary spending, they plead, is but a tiny part of the budget, not much worth fooling with.
The reality, as we explain Revolt! — our new book due out on March 1 – this formulation is a myth! The fact is that this deficit has been caused by a rapid runup in discretionary, non-defense spending and in welfare entitlements like Medicaid and food stamps. The key to cutting spending and slashing the deficit is not to focus on Social Security or Medicare, but on the real culprits – discretionary spending and welfare entitlements.
The following chart, taken from Revolt!, illustrates this key point:
|INCREASES IN SPENDING UNDER OBAMA|
|Source: US Government|
Obama and the Democrats are playing a game (the same one they played in the 1990s before Bill Clinton called their bluff). By pretending that the most politically popular programs – Social Security and Medicare — cause the deficit, they insulate the whole array of less popular government programs from cuts. They hide appropriations for EPA, PBS, highway construction, the Department of Education and like behind Social Security and Medicare reform.
But it is the core spending on the bureaucracy itself that is driving this deficit, increasing by $200 billion in the two Obama years. And it is Medicaid and food stamps and other welfare entitlements, up by $140 billion that are also culprits.
In the past two years, we have added 80,000 federal workers, 11 million food stamp recipients and $50 billion in Medicaid costs under Obama.
When baby boomers start to retire in greater numbers later in the decade, we will need to focus on Social Security and Medicare, but now lets cut the core federal discretionary and welfare spending that is at the root of our burgeoning deficit.
In Revolt!, we list the very specific budget cuts in discretionary spending that make the most sense. Here are a few of them:
Revolt! itemizes many other proposed cuts. It is not hard to bring the deficit down to less than 4% of GDP by 2014 by cutting discretionary and welfare entitlement spending.
Its just that liberals don’t want to do it.