March 7, 2011

Avoiding Long-Term Budget Solutions Increases Future Cost and Pain

Tomorrow, the Senate is expected to vote on two proposals to fund the remainder of the fiscal year. But both are based on the short-term rather than structural, long-term reform, said David Primo, scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

“The incentives of members, who face reelection every few years, are aligned with the quick-fix, duct-tape approach,” Primo said. “But serious budget imbalances will only be fixed through fundamental, long-term reform.”

“Any doctor will say a seriously overweight person can’t diet and exercise for two weeks or even two months and expect to see lasting results. The individual must permanently change his or her lifestyle,” said Primo. “The same is true about our government’s spending habits: a permanent lifestyle change is needed.” 

Delaying necessary reforms increases the pain and cost, he continues.

“Just like it feels less painful to start saving for retirement at age 30 than at age 60, entitlement reform will be more digestible the sooner we begin,” Primo said.

Tomorrow, the Senate is expected to vote on two proposals to fund the remainder of the fiscal year. But both are based on the short-term rather than structural, long-term reform, said David Primo, scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

 

“The incentives of members, who face reelection every few years, are aligned with the quick-fix, duct-tape approach,” Primo said. “But serious budget imbalances will only be fixed through fundamental, long-term reform.”

 

“Any doctor will say a seriously overweight person can’t diet and exercise for two weeks or even two months and expect to see lasting results. The individual must permanently change his or her lifestyle,” said Primo. “The same is true about our government’s spending habits: a permanent lifestyle change is needed.” 

 

Delaying necessary reforms increases the pain and cost, he continues.

 

“Just like it feels less painful to start saving for retirement at age 30 than at age 60, entitlement reform will be more digestible the sooner we begin,” Primo said.