You have to read down a bit to get to the real point:
In fact many economists say the biggest budget problems are not even reflected in the latest budget projections. They warn of a potential fiscal train wreck in the making as the government piles up trillions of dollars in obligations to pay Social Security and Medicare expenses for generations of baby boomers now approaching retirement.
Economists Jagadeesh Gokhale and Kent Smetters of the conservative American Enterprise Institute estimate the current imbalance for the two massive entitlement programs at $43 trillion, dwarfing the reported $3.5 trillion national debt. Economists at the more centrist Brookings Institution estimate the gap at $59 trillion.
To put even the smaller figure into perspective, Smetters, an assistant professor at the Wharton School, said the government could eliminate all its so-called discretionary spending forever "” everything other than Social Security, Medicare and interest on the national debt "” and still not close the gap. Or to put it another way, the government would have to raise federal income taxes by 70 percent "” permanently "” to close the gap.
In 1976, defense was 24% of the federal budget. In 1996 it was 17%. It was still at 17% in 2002. Even counting the Iraq war, which is a one-time expenditure, defense spending will be under 24% of government spending for 2003, and is projected to stay around 17% every year through 2008.
In 1976, human resources spending - mainly Social Security and Medicare - was 55% of goverment spending. In 1996 it was 61%. In 2002 it was 66%. And the Baby Boomers haven't started to retire yet...
The only programs which grow every year in dollars, as well as percentage of federal spending and GDP are social entitlements - specifically Medicare and Social Security. You want more funding for education? Fine. Tell Grandma to buy her own perscription drugs. You say you want butter instead of guns. I tell you the guns aren't the problem. You need to change your rallying cry to "Schools, not Metamucil!"
We have to quit wasting our money on the wrong end of life. Time to means-test entitlements and cap benefits. People over 50 have the highest income and wealth of any group in America. Tax cuts for the rich? Please. The real problem is welfare for wealthy senior citizens.