Crowder: Debt debate the “Dumb and Dumber” of American politics
posted at 11:25 am on July 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Steven Crowder’s back, and like everybody else, he wants to talk about American debt and the debt-ceiling debate. Steven finds the perfect cinematic analogy to US fiscal policy in the 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber, especially in one particular scene:
While I share Steven’s frustration about bailouts, they’re more or less a sideshow to the debate over debt. The bailouts added less than a trillion dollars to the national debt; Barack Obama’s Porkulus bill added about the same amount, and at least one can see some return on the bailouts. Neither are the real problem, however, even if both made the problem worse.
The real problem in debt is entitlement spending. The federal budget exploded over the last few years because of massive growth in entitlement spending, as this chart makes pretty clear:
We could bring discretionary spending to zero and still have to borrow money to pay for our entitlement programs. That doesn’t excuse the increases in discretionary spending levels over the last 12-15 years or so, but that is a secondary problem at best. If we want to stop issuing IOUs for 40% of our federal spending, we have to fix the structural problems in entitlement programs that will eventually break the bank.
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