August 11, 2011
ARC—A Voice for Reason and Capitalism
We would like to share with you the following message to donors from Yaron Brook.
The nation has been transfixed—and deeply frustrated—by the recent battle over the debt ceiling and its aftermath, including Standard & Poors' US credit rating downgrade.
One thing is for certain: the debt ceiling deal does nothing to address the real budgetary problem facing our country: an oncoming entitlement crisis.
The biggest drivers of government spending are without question the big three entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Some experts have argued that as soon as 2025, entitlements plus net interest payments will absorb all the federal government's revenue.
In the face of this crisis, what does the debt-ceiling deal accomplish? Virtually nothing. It does not cut government spending, but merely makes small cuts to the growth of future spending. It does virtually nothing to address the structural problems that are driving the U.S. economy toward bankruptcy.
Any attempt to bring sanity to the government’s financial crisis must address the issue of entitlements. But it's clear that no one in Washington wants to be the first to propose real changes to these programs.
Why is tackling the entitlement crisis so hard? Because virtually everyone today, inside and outside of Washington, believes that the entitlement state is a moral imperative. They accept the basic principle of altruism—that a person's need entitles him to other people's wealth—and so they cannot bring themselves to question government programs that implement this moral dictum.
Our nation, in short, is drowning in deficits and long-term debt due to the explosion in the costs associated with maintaining an entitlement state that is altruistic to its very core. To fight the entitlement state requires challenging the altruist morality that's behind it.
Unfortunately, today's mainstream Republicans are ill-equipped to fight this moral battle. They share the altruistic morality with Democrats (even if in a somewhat more diluted form). Only Ayn Rand’s morality of self-interest can provide the moral backbone to take on the entitlement state—and bring about its ultimate elimination.
ARC has repeatedly spoken out on this issue (for example, here and here). We have made the case again and again that reaching into the pockets of the productive in order to dole out benefits to the unproductive is unjust and immoral—that each individual has a right to pursue his own happiness and shouldn't be forced to pay for his neighbors' retirement or blood pressure medication.
With the budget and deficit debate moving to a new stage later this fall, we need to continue to press the moral case for dismantling the entitlement state. And there is a great deal more that we need to do—but this requires your help.
Your financial support will help us make the moral arguments that can save this country from budgetary disaster—by helping us to demonstrate that the crisis is the direct result of the existence of the entitlement state, and that the cure lies not primarily in economics, but in morality.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
President and Executive Director
» Contribute Now