When Will Americans and Minnesotans Get Serious about the Impending Entitlement Crisis? A Symposium

Projected budget imbalances when it comes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are larger, lengthier, and scarier than almost anything that may result from current hyper-efforts to stimulate the economy out of recession.  Brian Riedl, a very good analyst with the Heritage Foundation, pulled together a set of sobering figures several years ago when the economy was perking along well.  Unless policy-makers someday and somehow, he wrote, take extraordinarily hard but essential steps in regards to the big three entitlements, federal spending will eventually consume 28 percent of GDP – while federal revenues will total a comparatively paltry 18 percent. This 10-percentage-point gap, he said, will lead to budget deficits large enough to increase the national debt from 40 percent of GDP to more than 300 percent.  Clearly, this is not a sustainable path.  In this symposium, a roster of American Experiment Fellows provides their perspective on what it will take for Americans and Minnesotans to get serious about this impending entitlement crisis.