NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A $17 TRILLION NATIONAL DEBT BY 2009. WHAT THIS MESS REALLY MEANS?

October 27, 2008

Many Americans rely on entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  And while many baby boomers and the generations following them have long been told they won't be able to rely solely on Social Security in their retirement, is it possible the current financial crisis and the nation's mismanaged economy signal an end to these programs altogether?  According to Addison Wiggin, coauthor along with Kate Incontrera of "I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt," says all signs point to yes.

Backing up his assessment is a study from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) that suggests that without increases in government revenues and reform of entitlement programs, the following could happen:

  • By 2010, the federal government will stop doing 1 in 10 things it's doing now.
  • By 2020, the federal government will stop doing 1 in 4.
  • By 2030, the federal government will stop performing half of the services it provides.
  • By 2050, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will consume nearly the entire federal budget.
  • By 2082, Medicare spending alone will consume nearly the entire federal budget

"Entitlement programs are clearly in danger," says Wiggin. "Baby boomers are getting older and putting more of a burden on them. At the same time, health care costs are increasing, and the economy is obviously incredibly shaky. If we don't figure out how to better fund some of these programs, we are headed for major problems down the road."

Congress needs to renew tough budget controls like the PAYGO rules that expired in 2002. And take additional steps to cut spending, finance the entitlement programs, balance the budget, and start paying down debt, says Wiggin.

"For their part, individuals need to save more, invest wisely, expect less from the government, and be willing to pay for the services they do expect," adds Wiggin.

Source: Addison Wiggin, " A $17 Trillion National Debt by 2009. What this mess Really Means?" News Blaze, October 23,2008; based upon: Addison Wiggin and Kate Incontrera, "I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt," Wiley, September 2008.

For text:

http://newsblaze.com/story/20081023115616zzzz.nb/topstory.html

For NCPA study:

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st315/

 

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