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  • How to Explain the Entitlement Spending Crisis to Kids

    In a new video parodying Dr. Seuss’s whimsical style, the American Enterprise Institute puts the problem of growing entitlement program spending in a form elementary school kids can understand.

    It’s a good thing, too, because their generation will be burdened with paying for this skyrocketing spending if Congress and the President don’t start getting serious about structural entitlement program reforms now.

    The video tells the tale of the “makers,” who were once “makering all kinds of neat things, Make-dads and Make-pads and mighty Make-dings.” Then the federal government stepped in, imposing an endless slew of taxes and cultivating an entitlement state. This developed into both a moral and fiscal problem, as it bred a culture of dependency and threatened to bankrupt their country.

    America is a land of makers. Despite the current economic downturn, we have a history marked by prosperity, and today we enjoy widespread liberty and economic opportunity. Yet rising government spending, a sign of an expanding government, threatens that economic health and freedom. Specifically, spending on the entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security being the largest—is driving future deficits and debt to unsustainable levels.

    Already, 62 percent of the federal budget goes to entitlement programs—double the amount 50 years ago. Entitlement program spending is projected to nearly double from 10.3 percent of the economy in 2010 to 19 percent in 2050. Such staggering figures are the result of millions of baby boomers beginning to retire and health care costs that keep rising. (continues below chart)

    The number of workers paying for the benefits of retirees has also fallen, making Social Security and Medicare structurally unsustainable. For example, in 1965, the ratio of workers to Medicare beneficiaries was nearly five to one, meaning five workers were paying for the benefits of each retiree. In 2011, that ratio had fallen to three to one, and by 2030 there will be just two workers shouldering the responsibility for each beneficiary.

    Government-centric Obamacare will only exacerbate the increasing health care costs in both the public and private sectors and send Medicaid spending upward. As the video suggests, this is a “fiscal nightmare.”

    It is possible to structurally reform the entitlement programs in a way that ensures that they are a safety net for Americans who truly need them now—and for today’s children when they retire. Doing so requires political will on the part of Congress and the President to make tough choices now.

    The Heritage Foundation has a plan that does just that. It gets our spending and debt under control and preserves the freedoms that allow America’s makers to keep “makering” and succeed.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to How to Explain the Entitlement Spending Crisis to Kids

    1. Jones says:

      You know this is just so unbelievable that a parent would even want their YOUNG children even concerned with anything other than being a child and enjoying their child hood. It is my opinion that parents need to be parents and the ADULT in the families and children need to be children and know their place.! That is why you have children trying to be adults and thinking they can run over adults in this world. GROW up yourself and be an adult instead of trying to make your kids adults before there time!

      • Boccagalupe says:

        The problem with your thinking is that at no time do the children learn about entitlements, untill all of a sudden they're adults and trying to earn a living. At that point they learn that they must earn a living for their family, but for other families as well as theirs. What a rude awakening. Far better to learn early on exactly what their parents must do to put clothes on their back, roofs averhead, and food in their stomachs. Right now, there are too many children with their hands out wanting society to provide for them and their offspring. I call them children because they refuse to accept the responsibility for themselves and the families that they bring into the world. Teach them early!!

    2. Fdez says:

      So the educating of our children is a bad thing? You want your children to stick to 1-2-3 and A B C? I have no problem with educating our children in the matters of this country. This article isn’t showing the school systems shoving politics down their kids throats its opening up there minds to other things going on. As I’m sure you know children’s minds are sponges and contrary to popular belief they are not dumb. I woul love to have seen kids be educated like this 20 or 30 years back and maybe we wouldn’t have elected such a horrible commander. But I respect your opinion and if you believe it’s bad for kids to start learning about governmern that young, then so be it.

    3. Joe says:

      I tend to be in agreement with Fdez.. It is our fault that we have an entitlement society. We have trained our kids to be "a child and enjoying their child hood" and then as a teenager, we expect them to learn responsibility and start to suddenly become aware of what we have sheltered them from their entire life because we wanted them to enjoy their childhood. We have left them with little understanding of the responsibility that they should be growing into. We should be training our children up in the way that they should go. Starting when they are young; teaching them things in a manner in which they can grasp those things and teaching them a little more with broader and deeper understanding along the way. Our children are beign "trained" currently like this in schools. If we do not take the responsibility to be involved in their "training" the entitlement mentality will grow stronger and the "freedom to prosper" mentality will continue to grow weaker. With Freedom comes responsibility… unless you like being told how much you can make and how big you can dream.

    4. Gary says:

      Parents are raising their children to be the Gimmie Generation. So when they reach adulthood, they are already conditioned to expect someone else to provide for them.

    5. frrankosuave says:

      The problem is that the voting public has the intelligence equal to that of a Dr Seuss reading child. This video might be well suited for the voting dumb masses, but sadly, they would not watch/listen… unless you advertised, "Free Fundanglers, No Cost Confuglers!"

    6. Bobbie says:

      How to explain entitlement spending to kids? Dr. Suess is very educational and an excellent head start for kids, but this video would also explain in the simplisit terms for easy understandng to the government party that has no disccipline or bounds.

    7. Judy says:

      Working in a hospital I know the average reading level in Ohio is a 5th grade level, for some this would be about what they can understand and they would not need to read to get the picture.

    8. a lost american says:

      Just sell this country to China and be done with it. Why is it taking so long? Our people in government would sell their own mother if they could get a dime for her. I just don 't understand why it's taking so long.

    9. Marilyn says:

      I have a hard time with calling Social Security an entitlement act. If it was reserved for those who paid into it only and the Government would pay back the money they took out of it, it would be self sustaining, as it was intended to be.

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