• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Fiscal Cliff: Will Obama Stop Kicking the Can Down the Road on Entitlements?

    Even with the President’s desired tax hikes, publicly held debt would rise by $7.7 trillion in 10 years under the President’s budget.

    That’s right: Our federal debt would continue growing even if the President gets his way completely in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Until the debate focuses on reining in federal spending, especially in the entitlements, no real progress will be made towards solving the U.S.spending and debt challenges. That is the very reason why Speaker of the House John Boehner (R–OH) told members of his party:

    We’re fighting for spending cuts. We’re fighting against increases in tax rates that destroy jobs. And we’re fighting for pro-growth tax reform and entitlement reform, the keys to economic growth.

    Not too long ago, in 2009, President Obama himself acknowledged the need for entitlement reform and suggested his willingness to address exploding programs such as Medicare and Social Security. According to The Washington Post:

    “What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further,” he said then. “We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.”

    In fact, as far back as 2008 when he was running for President, Obama said he wanted to tackle entitlements in his first term (see video above).

    Mr. President, the opportunity is here now. Lawmakers kicked the can down the road in the debt ceiling negotiations last August, and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S.credit rating in response. Federal spending will run up to the debt ceiling soon again—as soon as the end of December, according to the Treasury Department—and Congress and the President should put forth real spending cut proposals that address the key drivers of the nation’s spending and debt.

    A new paper by Heritage’s J. D. Foster and Alison Fraser lays out six bipartisan entitlement reforms to solve the real fiscal crisis. All the President needs to do is seize the opportunity and show fiscal leadership.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Fiscal Cliff: Will Obama Stop Kicking the Can Down the Road on Entitlements?

    1. Bert says:

      The "Fiscal Cliff" and all the conundrum around it is the direct result of departing from The Constitution of the USA.
      Ever since the Federal Government got into the matters of governing the life of the residents of All States things got out of hand.
      The intention of the Founding Fathers was to leave those matters to the States. They left us a blueprint and over the years it has been changed into a puzzle.
      I see no real long term solution under the present circumstances.
      To me, trimming the Federal Budget of All the things that should pertain to the States, and leaving ONLY what it should be the matters of the Union to Washington would be a real solution.
      Yes, I understand, it would be very difficult to convince Washington to relinquish the central power that took them years to grab.

    2. Casey Corry says:

      Totally agree, Bert.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.