Welfare Reform: MIA

Senate Republicans and Progressive-Democrats agreed in principle to a two-year budget deal that sets outer bounds on spending allocations that are yet to be debated and passed in the two Houses.  The deal increases defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years, and it increases domestic spending by $131 billion over those two years.

But at what price?

One price is the potential for a return to $1 trillion deficits.  To an extent, that’ll be reduced by a growing economy as the tax reform law begins to take effect.

The larger price, though, by far, is the lack movement on the big three budget failures: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid transfers.  These remain not on any track toward privatization, or with that last item, not on any track toward reducing to zero transfers.

In 2016, the Federal government spent almost $950 billion on Social Security payments and a bit over $590 billion on Medicare.  Federal Medicaid transfers to the States in 2016 ran some $325 billion.

Fixing those would be produce a large reduction in deficits to the point of budget surpluses, which could be used to run down our national debt.  And the fixing would produce a large return to the personal responsibility that has contributed so strongly to our nation’s greatness and prosperity.

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