I want to draw attention to an open letter on the desirability of entitlement reform. Now, let’s be honest, this is at some level entirely self-indulgent. I organized the letter and am doing everything I can to draw attention to the issue (including this post).
Why? Because I believe that there is no more important issue (apologies to Libya). The United States is headed toward a third-world debt crisis; Carmen Reinhart (who, along with Ken Rogoff has written the seminal book on the issue) argues that a financial crisis could happen anytime. The U.S. has too much debt (relative to GDP), relies too much on short-term financing, and has non-transparent exposures and contingent liabilities (state-local pensions, state-local health plans, housing exposures, and so forth). These are all characteristics of those who find themselves in deep, deep waters.
From these perspectives, controlling the entitlement explosion is the key to avoiding the debt explosion, which is central to sidestepping the American implosion.
So, I am honored to be joined by an illustrious group of bipartisan co-signers asking Congress to make this a priority. Those who signed are acknowledging that this is a crucial moment in our history.