Change We Can Believe In

In effect, while investments were once one of the largest parts of our budget, today they are one of the smallest. In fact, public investments represented a full one-third of the budget in the 1960s. Today they have dwindled to less than 15% as a result of more and more federal dollars going to entitlements. And as the budget caps set forth in the Budget Control Act take effect, investment spending will fall below the rate of inflation, plummeting to 5% of our budget by 2040. This fiscal path translates to a less-skilled workforce, lower rates of job creation, and an infrastructure unfit for a 21st century economy—hardly the Great Society LBJ envisioned.

There is much more in the interesting report titled Collision Course: Why Democrats Must Back Entitlement Reform.

Tax rates will have to come up, but they are unlikely to cover for the ever growing cost of American entitlements, and indeed the tax hike needed to support spending levels would be harmful to the economy. Thus, entitlement reform must cut costs, or the Fed will have to start printing money while schools and basic research will suffer from lower quality.

Arnold Kling and Alex Tabarrok both share their thoughts.

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