We face a possible second downgrade of America’s debt because of the last 10 years of spending, which was excessive under President Bush, and which has accelerated at a breathtaking pace under the able stewardship of B. Hussein Obama. We look at the weasels in D.C., and express disgust over the way they enthusiastically spend other people’s money, but is that fair? Aren’t they just doing what the voters tell them to do? Consider this excerpt from David Brooks’ column, published yesterday:
Ultimately, we should blame the American voters. The average Medicare couple pays $109,000 into the program and gets $343,000 in benefits out, according to the Urban Institute. This is $234,000 in free money. Many voters have decided they like spending a lot on themselves and pushing costs onto their children and grandchildren. They have decided they like borrowing up to $1 trillion a year for tax credits, disability payments, defense contracts and the rest. They have found that the original Keynesian rationale for these deficits provides a perfect cover for permanent deficit-living. They have made it clear that they will destroy any politician who tries to stop them from cost-shifting in this way.
I am very curious about what you think about this assertion. The Urban Institute tends to be left-wing think tank, so if anything their computations probably give recipients the benefit of the doubt. Regardless of the precise numbers, it’s very clear that current beneficiaries of these programs are getting a lot more out than they put in. If you are currently receiving these benefits, are you happy about spending future generations into oblivion so that you don’t have to give up any government payments? What say you? Please comment below.