The Corner

Trump, Entitlements, and the Republican Future

Does Donald Trump’s success mean that Republicans should abandon entitlement reform? No, I argue at Bloomberg View.

The real-world alternative to changes that rein in the growth of spending on old-age entitlements is a broad-based tax increase. Raising taxes on the rich won’t yield enough money. So while the political risks of standing for entitlement reform are real, they have to be compared against those of raising taxes on the middle class. It’s hard to see Trump voters being enthusiastic about that idea. That’s the inescapable trade-off: We can either raise middle-class taxes to keep middle-class benefit levels rising, or we can rein in the growth of those benefits to keep those taxes down.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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