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NOTEBOOK – One Good Read: Is cutting entitlement programs key to fixing looming debt crisis?


Here’s an interesting opinion piece from Monday’s Washington Post that the folks at the Brookings Institute recommended to us. Five former chairs of the White House Council of Economic Advisors write that the looming federal fiscal crisis “cannot be solved by a vague call to cut ‘entitlements’ — terminology that dehumanizes the values of these programs to millions of Americans.” The authors argue that programs such as Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits and Medicaid are growing largely because of the aging of the population — a demographic problem faced by almost all advanced economies. The piece was a response to a March 27 Washington Post op-ed by economists from the Hoover Institution, who wrote: “Without congressional action, the combination of the automatic spending increase per beneficiary provisions of these programs and the growth in entitlement program recipients as the population ages will cause entitlement spending to continue to rise far faster than U.S. national income and tax revenue.”

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