A “Schoolhouse Rock” episode from the 1970s portrays America’s national debt as an out-of-control dinosaur with an insatiable appetite for our tax dollars. No matter how much money we give him — no matter how much he consumes — “Tyrannosaurus Debt” (as he is called) is always hungry for more.
“Tyrannosaurus Debt” is a short, humorous vignette, aimed at teaching civics to school-aged kids. But it contains a simple truth that bears repeating today: America doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem.
And it will continue to have one until we get serious about entitlement reform.
Anyone who suggests that we can gain control of our nearly $14.4 trillion debt by raising taxes and eliminating waste is not living in reality.
The bottom line? If we don’t drastically revamp the social safety net now, it will not be there for the next generation.
Unfortunately, the current occupant of the White House still nurtures dreams of turning this country into a European-style social welfare state. That the economies of Italy, Greece, and Spain are today crumbling under the weight of cradle-to-grave entitlements is an irony that seems lost on this president.
The irony is lost on our governor as well.
In the June 30 Washington Post, Gov. Deval Patrick launched a partisan attack against congressional Republicans for their principled stand against raising taxes. The governor falsely suggests that without a tax increase, we will be forced to “stop paying our soldiers . . . supporting our veterans . . . feeding the neediest children . . . providing nursing-home care to seniors.”
Enough with the scare tactics, governor. Isn’t it time to grow up and address this critical problem honestly?
Current tax rates don’t jeopardize the above-mentioned programs. If they are threatened at all, it is by our failure to reform the unsustainable Social Security/Medicare Ponzi scheme that will devour our entire budget by mid-century.
Indeed, economists have estimated that by 2049 spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies will consume all tax revenues, leaving nothing for other government spending (including national defense, the court system, education and transportation).
As the “Schoolhouse Rock” video demonstrates, concern about the national debt is nothing new. Yet, for the past three years, President Barack Obama has behaved as if the national debt does not exist. He has increased the debt by $4 trillion (as much as his predecessor added in eight years); rammed a costly and massive new entitlement (Obamacare) down the throat of a reluctant public; delegated the issue of debt to a blue-ribbon commission (the recommendations of which he then ignored) and had the nerve to ask Congress for a debt-ceiling increase without any reduction in the deficit whatsoever.
Now, having failed to get Congress to hand him a blank check, and with nowhere left to run, Obama feigns shock — shock! — at our spiraling national debt.
Raise our taxes in exchange for a hollow promise of entitlement reform in 10 years.
Congressional Republicans are right to reject Obama’s Trojan horse. The president has offered Americans no specifics. And, given his track record, it’s a pretty safe bet that Obama’s new found commitment to reform will last only until he is re-elected.
It might make the president and our governor feel good to scold congressional Republicans and the taxpayers who already foot the bill for our government largess. But, while Obama and Patrick wag their fingers, Tyrannosaurus Debt continues his rampage, devouring our children’s future.