It’s The Entitlements, Stupid

92117_Entitlements-Tsunami-by-Eric-Allie-Caglecartoons

Yesterday I wrote a post responding to a Grand Forks Herald editorial that was, in turn, a response to a post here on the blog. In the editorial, Herald opinion editor Tom Dennis blamed Republican election losses on conservatives being insufficiently compassionate as measured by their support for social entitlements.

I objected, writing that I could agree with Dennis if it “weren’t for that pesky reality of cost.” ”

“Compassion is all well and good, but then there is this other thing called ‘math’,” I wrote. To that point, here are some charts from a study conducted by the St. Louis Fed which breaks down US spending by type. As you can see, while defense spending has grown of late, the major problem areas in federal spending are social entitlements. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and “other payments to individuals” are by far our largest areas of problem spending (via Hot Air):

fedspending-gdp

Here’s another chart breaking down mandatory spending (mostly entitlements) and discretionary spending (mostly military and everything else the feds do):

fedspending-mand-discretionary

It’s nice to be compassionate, but how compassionate is it to explode spending on entitlement programs, running up debt our children and grandchildren will have to pay off?

That’s not compassion. That’s greed.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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