Although I recently said Paul Ryan, was my third choice for Romney's running mate, I am pleased he was selected. This means that Romney is a bold leader who will fight for conservative policymaking programs and values and intellectually slug it out with Barack Obama's decrepit liberalism. Paul Ryan is a true policy wonk and a federal budget scholar. As House Budget Committee chair he has passed two budgets through the House only to see them stalled in the Democratic controlled Senate. Its extremely hypocritical for Democrats to call him extreme, when their own budgetary and legislative incompetence during the Obama Administration has failed to produce an enacted budget in over three years. To make this situation even worse, the true ideological extremism of the Obama Administration in its reckless spending has exacerbated our national debt beyond what was cumulatively accumulated during all prior presidencies.
Ryan's presence in the campaign will, hopefully, allow for an adult conversation on federal entitlements. These entitlement programs, characterized most prominently by Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security are the primary drivers of our exploding national debt and federal budget deficit. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report, citing Congressional Budget Office statistics, notes that these three entitlement programs constitute 43% of the federal budget. In contrast, the Defense Budget, demonized by many leftists as the principal cause of national budget problems, represents an estimated 18.1% of the federal budget in Fiscal Year 2012 according to the Office of Management and Budget. This does not factor in the draconian defense spending cuts that are set to take place if sequestration occurs on January 1, 2013.
Our continually growing population and improved health care have enhanced the population of elderly adults and produced drastic and unsustainable increases in health care spending which are driving entitlement costs increases beyond contributions to these programs. The Government Accountability Office's January 2010 report "The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook" has some interesting observations and projections about entitlement programs and the federal budget. These include:
2008 Oldest members of the baby-boom generation become eligible for early Social Security retirement benefits.
2008 Medicare Hospital Insurance expenditures exceed cash income.
2010 Social Security runs first cash deficit since 1984.
2011 Oldest baby-boom generation members become eligible for Medicare
2014 45% of Medicare outlays funded by general revenue
2016 Social Security begins running consistent annual cash deficits and redeeming trust fund assets such as nonmarketable Treasury securities in order to pay beneficiaries.
2017 Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund exhausted. Income sufficient to pay about 81% of benefits.
2020 Debt held by public under GAO Alternative simulation exceeds the historical high reached in World War II's aftermath (p. 2)
This crisis has been a long-time building and will take painful steps to solve these problems. History, unfortunately has demonstrated that Barack Obama and other Democrats refuse to engage in honest debate about this problem and appeal to emotion and outright lies. Ryan's Medicare reforms WILL NOT affect anyone over 55, However, we must begin planning for future generations and give them the option to possess private health insurance for their older years if they choose to do so. Unfortunately, many self-appointed seniors organizations such as the infamous American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) have no intellectual or moral conception of the grievous fiscal consequences of maintaining present entitlement programs.
They represent a Greedy Geezer mentality that was, ironically, depicted in the March 28, 1988 cover story "Talkin Bout My Generation" featured in the liberal New Republic. Leftist organizations such as AARP and its multiple allies are willing to maintain often extravagant demands for federal benefits without thinking about the consequences of such profligacy for future generations including their children and grandchildren let alone national economic solvency.
This election will go a long way in determining if we can recover some semblance of national fiscal solvency and seek to empower individuals to reach their maximum personal or economic potential if they choose Mitt Romney's and Paul Ryan's visions for America. On the other hand, if we choose to embrace Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's vision of class warfare, statist dependency on governmental handouts, and unsustainable federal budgets and national debt, we will lose control of our personal and national economic sovereignty and become shackled slaves on a plantation like socioeconomic structure of governmental servitude destined for inevitable collapse and societal disintegration.
While Medicare has some benefits, it is an inefficient and fraud ridden program that does not meet emerging personal health care, demographic, or economic needs and realities. You can visit the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission website
to learn more about Medicare's accelerating financial problems. The sad truth is that national governments, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere, do not do a good job at providing customer focused and cost effective health care. Paul Ryan has the political courage and intellectual prowess to convince Americans of this reality and that we must take drastic steps to alter the financially unsustainable course our nation is on. We urgently need the wisdom and leadership he and Mitt Romney are capable of providing us if we are to begin the long and painful process of restoring American economic growth and entreprenurial dynamism.