The Fiscal Cliff and Entitlements

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on December 6, 2012

in deficit spending,Fiscal Policy,politics

This past weekend”s offered a fresh and interesting perspective on entitlements from Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield.  It is an interview that should be taken seriously by individuals concerned about the economic future of our country.  A social safety net is critical for any civilized society, but we need to be able to pay for it for future generations in a fiscally responsible way.

Consider the entitlements crisis. “Entitlements are an attack on the common good,” Mr. Mansfield says. “Entitlements say that “I get mine no matter what the state of the country is when I get it.” So it”s like a bond or an annuity. What the entitlement does is give the government version of a private security, which is better because the government provides a better guarantee than a private company can.”

That is, until the government goes broke, as has occurred across Europe.

 

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