The original Medicare program, enacted in 1965, was projected to cost $9 billion 25 years later, in 1990. The actual cost that year was $67 billion. But while there is no meaningful prospect of rolling back spending, is it too much to hope that enough politicians, persuaded of the gravity of our crisis, can be found to hold spending at current levels?
That is the equivalent of asking the national barflies to just go home instead of ordering up yet another round. I write this fully aware that in the past, promises to hold spending at current levels have been nothing but eyewash for the public. Still, out of respect for the claim that no one is beyond redemption, I offer up a one-step program to provide the economy immediate relief and cushion our crash.
Commerce strains and the economy groans under a growing regulatory load that can be lifted at virtually no cost. We have become utterly inured to the burden that America's productive bear, but it is massive.
According to a report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, businesses spent $1.17 trillion on federal regulatory compliance in 2008. That doesn't include the $49.1 billion the bureaucracy spent enforcing those regulations. It works out to $16,000 for a family of four.Athletes intentionally burden themselves with weights strapped to his arms and legs, but only for training. Removal of the load leads to a higher level of performance in competition. And America badly needs to become more competitive. Lift the regulatory load and watch an American Wirtschaftswunder, an "economic miracle." Talk about a stimulus package! And unlike the Republican and Democrat boondoggles, it doesn't explode the debt.