The budget proposal introduced by House Republicans on Tuesday is much more than a series of numbers on a spreadsheet—it’s a vision for reforming the key pillars of the American social contract in the 21st century. In that regard, it’s very different from the vision put forward by President Obama in his budget plan from a month ago, which emphasized preserving the status quo with another round of tax hikes.
The central economic problem of coming years is how to update the nation’s largest entitlement programs so that they are sustainable and available to future generations of Americans.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (plus the new 2010 health care law) will increase from about 10% of the nation’s total economic output this year, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), to nearly 16% in 2035. . . .
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James C. Capretta is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and project director of e21’s ObamaCare Watch. He was an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004.