The Government Accountability Office concludes that America faces a “fiscal gap” of $99.4 trillion over the next 75 years, which would mean we would have to increase taxes by 50% or reduce spending by 35% simply to stop accumulating more debt. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will together make up 50% of the federal budget by 2021.
For liberals, the long-term fiscal crisis should seem devastating. If entitlement programs continue to grow, they will soon crowd out almost all other government spending. Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein has pointed out that the federal government is now an insurance company with an army. This means that there will be little money left for programs to address income inequality, poverty, education, infrastructure, science and technology, research and all the other purposes of active, energetic government.