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Chapter One: What's The Problem With Entitlements?


Published April 9, 2020

Federal spending on entitlement programs has steadily increased to unprecedented levels over the last several decades. America has chosen to finance this spending largely by accumulating debt rather than increasing taxes. This growing debt will eventually require us to cut other government spending.

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Video Recorded: August 26, 2019.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the positive and negative impacts of entitlement programs? How might we balance these impacts to create effective reform?
  2. America has chosen to finance entitlement spending largely through debt rather than by increasing taxes. What are the consequences of continuing to fund these programs through debt?

Additional Resources:

  • Watch “Entitlements and the Budget” with John Cogan on PolicyEd, available here.
  • Watch “John Cogan Tells Us How to Think about Entitlements” on PolicyEd, available here.
  • Watch “Falling Short: Social Security, Medicare, and Payroll Taxes” with John Cogan on PolicyEd, available here.
  • Listen to the Area45 podcast episode “Is Entitlement Reform Possible?” with John Cogan, available here.
  • Listen to the EconTalk podcast episode “John Cogan on Entitlements and the High Cost of Good Intentions,” available here.