I have warned, before, about the upcoming double-barrel crisis aimed at the U.S. financial system: The insolvency of the U.S. government itself, as entitlement debt can no longer be kept afloat by FICA withholding, and as Treasury debt can no longer be maintained on a monthly basis simply because it has grown too big.
Last week our entitlement system’s trustees said that the current recession is so undermining Medicare Part A that payments for elderly care will fail in eight years, with Social Security itself imploding in less than 28.
That is, if the economy doesn’t get worse.
Medicare Part B, covering doctors’ visits and outpatient care, and Part D, covering prescriptions, are right now insolvent, sucking money from general revenues.
This crisis rushes closer, even as our president insists on reforming health care in ways that will almost certainly add new entitlements — which will also have to be paid for.
President Obama says that more government will do the opposite of what it’s done in the past. Until now, government involvement in medicine has increased costs and prices. Now he says what he’ll do will make for more “efficiency.”
Why do politicians believe in the magic of their new programs rather than the history of their old ones?
Why is it that, in politics, irresponsibility rises to the top?
However you answer that, the march to bankruptcy is picking up pace.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.