In todays New York Times, David Brooks argues that deficits do matter and predicts the emergence of a leader who will take up the issue.
Brooks writes, "Theres going to be another Ross Perot, and this time hes going to be younger. Theres going to be a millionaire rising out of the country somewhere and he (or she) is going to lead a movement of people who are worried about federal deficits, who are offended by the horrendous burden seniors are placing on the young and who are disgusted by a legislative process that sometimes suggests that the government has lost all capacity for self-control. ... In the past months we have learned that the prescription drug benefit passed last year is not going to cost $400 billion over 10 years. The projections now, over a slightly different period, are that its going to cost over $700 billion. And these cost estimates are coming before the program is even operating. They are only going to go up. That means were going to be spending the next few months bleeding over budget restraints that might produce savings in the millions, while the new prescription drug benefit will produce spending in the billions. ... We may as well be blunt about the driving force behind all this. The living and well organized are taking money from the weak and the unborn. Over the past decades we have seen a gigantic transfer of wealth from struggling young families and the next generation to members of the AARP. In 1990, 29 percent of federal spending went to seniors; by 2015 roughly half of all government spending will go to those over 65. This prescription drug measure is just part of that great redistribution."
Could it be that the Republican Party will crash and burn trying to manage the entitlement programs of FDR and LBJ?