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The Question No Candidate Will Answer

Bills

I like Jake Tapper, but I already was ready to punch him in the ear over the “let’s you and him fight” structure of the debate questions last week when he abandoned all pretense of adulthood and asked the candidates what they’d like their Secret Service code names to be. It was a low, cringe-inducing moment, and the candidates made it lower and cringier with their answers. (“Trueheart”? “Justice Never Sleeps”? Ergh.) Marco Rubio just barely acquitted himself with “Gator,” but the correct answer was: “That’s a dumb question, Jake, and I am not going to answer it. Now, back to Iran . . .”

Here’s my question, which nobody ever really asks: “Given that a small number of federal expenditures — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national security, and interest on the debt — typically constitute about 80 percent of all federal spending, and given that we are not going to cut non-defense discretionary spending to zero, there is no mathematically plausible way to balance the budget without: 1) cutting spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and/or national security; and/or 2) raising taxes. So, what’s it going to be: spending cuts in popular programs, higher taxes, or deficits forever? And before you give your answer, I’d like you all to know that standing behind each of you is a man with a Taser and instructions to use it on the first person whose answer relies on the Growth Fairy — lookin’ at you, Jeb — or the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Fairy. Go.”

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Source: Kevin D Williamson, http://www.nationalreview.com/