Hey, Washington: It's time to be honest about America's spending-entitlement tradeoffs

This is a bipartisan problem with an obvious solution

Debatable
(Image credit: (Pablo Alcala-Pool/Getty Images))

No one likes paying taxes. Everyone likes receiving benefits. And our politicians have become thunderously dishonest in trying to convince Americans they can have it both ways.

For decades, the general trend has been for Democrats to try to preserve the federal government's existing spending commitments, especially on entitlement programs, while the Republicans try to keep the tax burden from rising much above recent historic levels. There have, of course, been some spending cuts here and tax increases there over the past 34 years. But for the most part, since Ronald Reagan was elected, Republicans have generally gotten their preferred tax rates while Democrats have kept their spending.

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W. James Antle III

W. James Antle III is the politics editor of the Washington Examiner, the former editor of The American Conservative, and author of Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped?.