Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Fiscal and Ethical Stranglehold of the Welfare State

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have new article on the news and commentary website, “EpicTimes,” on, “The Fiscal and Ethical Stranglehold of the Welfare State.”

Looking over the next ten years the fiscal burden of the welfare state will continue to noticeably grow. In 2015, “entitlement” spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for about 48 percent of all Federal government spending.

This will expand to 55.5 percent of government expenditures over the next ten years to 2025. Indeed, over this ten-year period mandatory entitlement spending will increase more than 28 percent faster than estimates of overall growth of the economy.

But it get worse when we expand the horizon to cover most of the twenty-first century, as do the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Most conservatively, the unfunded liabilities for these two “entitlement” programs add up to a minimum of $95 trillion to over $150 trillion between now and 2090.

But equally worrisome as the future fiscal burden of the welfare state is its negative impact on the American spirit of individual liberty and self-responsibility as all become increasingly tax and spending dependents on the paternalism of Uncle Sam and those who politically influence the size and direction of government redistributional largess.

But we still have a weakened but not lost cultural legacy of liberty based on individual rights and a spirit of self-help and voluntarism that can still serve as a foundation to restore the idea and ideal of the free and responsible individual not enslaved to the dictates of political paternalists.


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