Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 | 2 a.m.
Regarding the Sunday editorial “Americans should push members of Congress to compromise”:
Forget compromise. We are way past the art of compromise to help this nation’s economic woes. I would say that politicians compromising their values and beliefs is one of the big reasons we are at the crossroads of this once-great country defaulting.
If President Barack Obama gets re-elected, he will leave office in 2016 with somewhere in the neighborhood of a $21 trillion national debt. Add the $65 trillion in unfunded mandates for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, and most Americans can grasp the reality of this giant mess.
The explosive path of federal spending under Presidents Bush and Obama underscores the need for large and rapid policy changes to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course.
Sometime around 2024 to 2026, under these current spending practices, mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the national debt will exceed all tax revenue the federal government collects. Then what?
I don’t think we will have to wait that long. Long before 2024 we will be downgraded to junk-bond status, and we will collapse in default. Then we will start over. After all the rioting and looting slow down, the unions have been disbanded, and the federal, state and local governments no longer have any legal obligation to pay the pensions they can’t afford, we will start to look like the country we used to again.