George Will on Democracy and Debt

Some good stuff.

“America’s public-policy dysfunction exists not because democracy isn’t working but because it is.”

Yup.

George Will: Seeds of our dysfunction – The Washington Post: The official national debt of $16 trillion (growing $4 billion a day), plus what the government owes its various trust funds, is more than 100 percent of gross domestic product. Ninety percent is where economic anemia seems to deepen. States’ debts are about $3 trillion, and their unfunded pension liabilities probably are another $4 trillion. “Debts of this magnitude,” Greve says, “will not be paid.” Barack Obama’s risible solution is to add 4.6 points to the tax rate for less than 3 percent of Americans.

The housing debacle was not the result of “a spontaneous outbreak of private irresponsibility.” Public institutions and policies provided occasions and incentives for the exercise of private vices. Washington pays up to 80 percent of state Medicaid expenses, so state citizens demand more Medicaid services. Although the elderly consider Social Security and Medicare benefits earned, Greve says: “Most retirees could not have earned their expected payment streams if they had worked two or three jobs.”