‘It will never be any easier or cheaper to fix this problem than it is right now’ but not if you don’t understand it

DOOM, Served Hot Off the Grill

Ace of Spades HQ

…We are in a classic debt spiral from which there is probably no escape. The mandatory spending numbers will never go down, and debt-service will eat ruthlessly away at the remaining portion of the federal budget. (Most of the states are in the same fiscal boat.) Pretty soon, our government will exist to do two things only: send out welfare checks, and pay the vig on our mind-boggling debt…

…all liberals, and even many conservatives, quail at the harshness of the so-called “Ryan Roadmap”, and insist that it’s not “politically doable”. Well, guess what? The Ryan roadmap is the best attempt by a politician I’ve seen so far at solving this problem — and it barely scratches the surface. Even if every single one of its reforms were adopted right now, it probably would take decades for us to get back on an even fiscal keel. And I don’t think we have that kind of time.

We lost this battle when the debate stopped being about whether the government should provide a gigantic welfare state, and began to be about how we would fund it.

Remember this, if you remember nothing else: it will never be any easier or cheaper to fix this problem than it is right now. The longer we wait, the more catastrophic the outcome will be. If we will not impose discipline on ourselves, the market will do it for us…

Read the entire article at Ace of Spades HQ

Related: HotAir.com, Poll: Public still has basically no idea what’s driving America’s gigantic budget deficits

…Fully 72 percent think reducing foreign aid would produce some sort of “large” savings whereas 51 percent think reducing Medicare benefits would produce savings that are small-ish. To jog your memory about this, we could disband the U.S. military for a year — no funding for defense of any sort — and we would still be only about halfway towards eliminating the annual deficit. Which makes me wonder: Is there any meaningful distinction for most of the public between spending they want to cut and spending thatmust be cut? Defense is a big chunk of the budget relative to, say, earmarks, and tales of Pentagon waste and the oft-touted stat about how we spend more on our military than the next umpteen nations do on theirs surely resonate when the public’s thinking about trimming budgetary fat. But where, oh where, does the idea come from that foreign aid is some huge fountain of red ink instead of Medicare? It’s chump change. The only explanation I have for that distorted view is that foreign aid is something the public’s willing to cut whereas Medicare, emphatically, is not. Am I missing something here or are we really that deep in denial?

From Instapundit:

MARCH 10, 2011

So, the guy behind the world’s largest bond fund is dumping U.S. government debt.

Got your attention yet?…

…You may think the Ryan Roadmap looks harsh and disruptive. But we simply must start dealing with these things right now, while we have some resources, some options, and some time. It will be much more harsh and disruptive to try to deal with these things after the fiscal crisis is upon us, when inflation is skyrocketing, unemployment is through the roof, and the markets start demanding a very high premium to finance the debt of Washington, the states, and the cities, if indeed investors are willing to do so at all.

We are in an extraordinarily dangerous period, one that calls for real leadership in Washington, where the geniuses in charge are currently locked in a death struggle over whether to cut nothing or next to nothing

CAJ note: Last night we participated in a very brief FreedomWorks conference call with Congressman Paul Ryan. Over the past two years, we’ve been in on several calls with him, particularly during the debate over ObamaCare before it became law. Rep. Ryan is, it seems to us, always very direct about the problems that face us and yet has been able to sound upbeat and hopeful about what Congress could do, what citizens could do, to change this downward spiral. Last night, we did not hear this same energy in the young Congressman’s voice. He discussed, specifically, the current attempts in Congress to defund and dismantle ObamaCare as opposed to “fixing” it and living with it, which the Republicans–and most Americans– do not want to do. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been over 1,000 waivers granted by DHHS.

Here is some of the information we emailed to friends and colleagues shortly after the call ended:

This was a very brief and serious call with Congressman Ryan. He described ObamaCare as “huge,” “having tentacles everywhere” and “full of regulatory action.” Ryan believes the law should be struck down by SCOTUS because of the waivers issue and the individual mandate [and that the Supreme Court overturning ObamaCare is our best hope at the moment]. Otherwise, he said, we have to work towards a new President and a fiscally conservative Congress is 2012 [to rid ourselves of the law politically. At the moment, the House can do everything it wants, but they cannot get their bills through the Senate, and Obama will never sign them into law. The Republicans do not think they have the votes to override a Presidential veto].

The bill [as it was written and passed into law] is so complex and so well thought out [i.e. possible future Congressional actions against it were taken into consideration] that the House cannot just go at it with a simple “defund, repeal, and replace” [because of the complex and binding manner in which it is written] …

…it’s going to be a lot of work and a messy ordeal, by the sound of tonight’s call. Meanwhile, our health care system is going to necessarily decline. The Congressman has said on several occasions he would prefer that we have a consumer-oriented/consumer-driven health care industry/health insurance industry in which patients have greater freedom and more choices [which would naturally bring the costs of insurance and care down].

Paul Ryan touched upon the 2011 budget the Republicans are writing now [and will likely present in the first week of April] and said they MUST address the entitlements, i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. He said he knows that politicians who try to touch these programs will be demagogued and some will be voted out of office for doing this, but that it must, must be done. He said this Congressional session and the next Presidential election will determine the direction of the country in the 21st century. Either, he said, we will work towards American exceptionalism again, or we will be just another cradle-to-grave entitlement society with no prosperity and little freedom.

So, friends…what are we going to do about this come April? Are we going to sit around and bitch about how we’ve worked all our lives and contributed to the pyramid scheme known as Social Security…blah, blah, blah…Or will we support any one of our elected officials with enough guts to tell us all the truth, with enough courage to help us right the ship today? Because we’re out of time and, if we don’t stand up now, we won’t have to worry about collecting anything…paychecks, pensions, benefits, entitlements…and America as we know it will be over.

Update: From The Daily Beck via New Zeal, “Is America Going Broke?”

Tonight: Is America broke? The New York Times and Michael Moore say ‘no’, but you be the judge…right now the Feds are 14 trillion dollars in debt. Right now, it is estimated that the total unfunded liabilities of the federal government is even larger than the total global economic output. If that isn’t broke, I don’t know what is! Plus, what is Obama’s newest abuse of power? Do not miss this one. Tonight’s guests include Republican Congressmen Allen West and Connie Mack from Florida, Fmr. Clinton advisor Doug Schoen, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Fox Business Network’s Eric Bolling.

The video, below, is featured at 27:00 from the video above:

And we found this on YouTube “Raw video of SEIU labor leader threatening lawmakers at budget hearing, 5/27/09”

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