Pat Buchanan at Vdare
Yet, the Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.
When does the Republican Party, put in power by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance? Is there is any hope things will be different, should the Tea Party help produce a GOP Senate in 2014?
If the Tea Party is in some despair, is it not understandable?
Consider what would be needed to roll back Big Government.
First, the major entitlement programs Medicare and Social Security would have to be peeled back. But any effort to raise the age of eligibility, or reduce the benefits, or trim cost-of-living adjustments, would meet with ferocious resistance, led by the AARP.
Indeed, many Tea Party members are themselves among those enjoying, or about to enjoy, the benefits of these programs. Would they back cuts in either one? Democrats say these programs must be expanded, and they will resist any cuts as fiercely as the Republicans would resist any increase in payroll or income taxes.
Social Security and Medicare recipients number in the scores of millions. Four million Baby Boomers reach eligibility every year now. That is more than 10,000 every day. Is any party, even a GOP that controls the White House and Congress, going to take on this army?
Consider that other entitlement, Medicaid.
Thanks to Obamacare, the number of beneficiaries of Medicaid is soaring. And even should the GOP capture the Senate in 2016, a Democratic minority would filibuster to death any bill to cut Medicaid.
As for interest on the debt, another major element in the budget, it has only one way to go, up. For the Fed freeze that has held interest rates near zero for five years must someday end.
Defense is the other big item in the budget. But while the wind-down of our trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has made cuts possible here, most of these have already been made.
Can it be that the Tea Party’s dream of a balanced budget, and of a government that ceases to eat up ever more of the GDP, is simply an act of self-delusion?
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