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Making Entitlement Reform a "Central Part" of Deficit Reduction
Posted By Conn Carroll On January 9, 2009 @ 1:03 pm In Economics | Comments Disabled
Responding to the sticker shock of the Congressional Budget Office’s projected record $1.2 trillion budget deficit, President-elect Barack Obama said :
We will — we are working currently on our budget plans. We are beginning consultations with members of Congress around how we expect to approach the deficit. We expect that discussion around entitlements will be a part, a central part, of those plans. And I would expect that by February, in line with the announcement of at least a rough budget outline, that we will have more to say about how we’re going to approach entitlement spending, how we’re going to approach eliminating waste in government, one of Nancy’s tasks.
So we will have some very specific outlines in terms of how it’s going to be done.
The Heritage Foundation can’t wait to see these ‘very specific outlines’. We sincerely hope Obama is being honest when he says, “I’m not out to increase the size of the government long- term. ” A key test will be seeing if he keeps his promise to the American people to enact a net cut on government spending . Addressing the long term financial threat that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid pose must be part of fulfilling this promise.
This spring, 16 federal budget experts from seven think tanks (including American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, Concord Coalition, The Heritage Foundation, New America Foundation, Progressive Policy Institute and Urban Institute) issued a paper  concluding that automatic, escalating benefits from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will cause “unsustainable deficits in the federal budget” that “threaten the health and vigor of the American economy.” Their report concludes: “Our group has come together, from diverse points on the political spectrum, to sound an alarm: if America is to remain strong, such evasions must end.”
Moving to “specific” steps, the authors propose :
These are just some necessary first steps to bringing entitlement spending under control. If we really want to address our long term financial problems, we will also have to rethink social insurance entirely .
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/01/09/making-entitlement-reform-a-central-part-of-deficit-reduction/
URLs in this post:
 said: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003004126
 I’m not out to increase the size of the government long- term.: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/us/politics/08obama.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
 his promise to the American people to enact a net cut on government spending: http://www.foundry.org/2008/12/17/morning-bell-obamas-net-spending-cut-promise/
 paper: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/upload/takingbackourfiscalfuture.pdf
 the authors propose: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/wp0408.cfm
 rethink social insurance entirely: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/wp021908.cfm
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