"The key thing is, yes, entitlement reform is important because entitlements are the biggest component of spending, and the part of spending where the cost pressures are greatest."...the agreement last week to reduce the nation's debt by at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years "fell well short" of comprehensive reforms that some had advocated.
...Sarah Palin came through today with a Facebook post that strikes the right tone and is at once simple, direct, and comprehensive. It doesn’t rail at past mistakes, nor does it come across as a raised-voice, you’ve-got-to-get-this-people communication. Palin takes it for granted – with refreshing common sense – that we are in a crisis, its features are obvious, and the task now is to deal with it, not continue to argue whether it’s really a crisis or how big it is or whose name we can pin on it.
She makes no bones about the significance of the problem we face. I am particularly impressed with her point that if we don’t square ourselves away, the specter hangs over us of IMF staffers showing up on our doorstep with China and France and Germany arrayed behind them, ready to throw folders on a desk and start telling us how much we can spend on cable TV and incidentals each month. Whether things would really play out for the US as they are playing out for Greece and Ireland is a valid question, but Palin is quite correct that the pitched confrontation is on the horizon now, as it was not six weeks ago – and she has the courage to face that possibility head-on. It’s not pleasant to mention it, but it’s the right thing to do.
The last third of Palin’s post is devoted to laying out what we need to do. Grow the economy by releasing the regulatory clamps on it, starting with the energy sector. Cut spending and reform entitlements. She doesn’t pretend the latter would be easy, but she faces head-on the fact that it is inescapably necessary. I urge you to read her post for the discussion of particulars. It is material and convincing without being in the weeds.
The piece is positive and encouraging for its forthrightness. There is nothing “clever” to be done in this situation; it’s all straightforward. The US federal government has to cut spending and let the economy grow, even if that means breaking the stranglehold of unions on the public trough and overruling advocacy groups and government bureaucrats who don’t want the economy to grow. Pretending that the federal budget is too complex to be governed by the ordinary rules of accounting – or that the US is too special to be limited by the ordinary definition of fiscal solvency – is a dodge, not a sign of insight or expertise.
Palin focuses like any good executive on the big picture. We have to cut spending and get government out of the economy’s way so it can start pumping out revenues again. These things are increasingly obvious to everyone, and moreover, they constitute a plan.