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Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 571 -- Auto-Pilot, Next Stop Socialism.
Federal Revenue As A Percentage Of GDP-
Right now, our entitlement programs account for less than 10% of GDP. They are certainly big costs that harm our economic strength, but they are not yet crippling. They do account for 40% or so of the total federal budget right now.
Our current federal revenues as a percentage of GDP are currently in the upper teens, give or take a couple points.
As it stands right now, our entitlements are on an auto-pilot growth trajectory, and even if we make the laughable assumption that politicians won't periodically vote to add new sub-entitlements into the benefit calculus, we are looking at three programs-- Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security-- that will by themselves reach more than 20% of GDP.
In other words, our taxation regime must become far more aggressive, far more creative, and far more punitive for federal tax receipts to climb to 30 or 40% (or 50%) of GDP. This doesn't even take into account all of the eye-poppingly large debt and non-entitlement spending that we are currently rushing to take on. It also does not consider the binge of state and local spending we're currently witnessing. It is an ugly picture. We need our Republicans to act like Republicans. We need to somehow soften the Democrats' penchant for socialism. We need to win back the independents and moderates. To say that we have a lot of work to do is a frightening understatement. Every bit of progress made since Ronald Reagan first took office has been unraveled and then some over the past 6 or 7 months.
We have a task before us that is disheartening. We won't make any progress until we win back the hearts and minds of Americans. As long as Republicans like Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison are earning mediocre C+ ratings from the National Taxpayers Union, how can we sell to the American public that we are any different-- let alone any better-- than the Democrats?
Previous Trivia Tidbit: KBH Loves Pork Barrel.
Posted by Will Franklin · 10 April 2009 09:53 AM
I wonder if the current projections will actually come to pass. I ran across a great quote from Mark Twain, "I've seen a heap of trouble in my time, and most of it never came to pass."
As we are on a technological learning cure becoming more vertical due to Moore's computing law? I am wondering about cost projections being all that accurate. The entire human genome is now known, not by the year 2030 as originally postulated, but it was finished by 2003. This was only after a late 1995-1998 launch on what was said to be a 30 year endeavor. Private work and raw computing power was used to get the job done by a private company decades ahead of schedule.
Genetics is progressing at an astonishing rate. Might we see a cost reduction (in drug development costs) as computing power makes up for what had been years of experiment and in some cases guess work?
As this blog often comments on economics, I would ask a question. Do the infantile sciences of nano-tech and more importantly (as I see it ) the emerging world of Meta-materials offer a potential way out of the current gloom and doom cost projections of the present.
Scientific-American ran an article around 2002 or so describing the manufacture of meta-materials. If I recall correctly, they are made out of ordinary molecules, using intense pressure and heat, to shrink the ordinary molecule. This shrunken molecule exhibits a grab bag of physical properties unrelated to the ordinary molecule thus changed. It seems we've discovered a new universe of materials. Duke University is in the news, 6 weeks or so ago, telling of a meta-material that routes all wave type patterns around it. It is an invisible material. Unless you throw an object at it, and see it bounce off, no radar or energy beam will show it on the radar scope.
Yeah, I'm an optimist, and I do think that these troubles too will pass. It is the statists' (Mark Levin's new book) assault on individual liberty I see as the all encompassing battle that will engulf us, not the current problem the newspapers would have us focus on.
Again, what effect is evident, looking at it historically, that new technologies create in the global economy? Should we concern ourselves more with the loss of individual liberty than the money woes that may pass in a decade or so?
Posted by: gjbuilder at April 11, 2009 05:25 PM
One Republican I really like is John Cornyn. He is not afraid to stand up for what is right. Good guy! We need more like him.
Posted by: ZsaZsa at April 13, 2009 12:48 PM