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The spending cuts likely to ensue from the feel-good fiscal cliff deal will probably be in the non-defense discretionary party of the government spending pie chart. It is very unlikely that Obama or the Democrats will agree to cuts in poverty-based entitlement programs like Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and welfare. These programs will remain intact, having almost doubled on Obama’s watch as president.

And here’s the rub: The increase in taxes and the failure to reach a comprehensive deal in the near term will probably cost the economy dearly in future growth. With unemployment up and expansion down (and perhaps even a recession coming), these poverty based entitlements will swell even further in their enrollments and benefits. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office will doubtless find that the deficit reductions measures of the short term fiscal cliff deal have failed to reach their objectives. As a result, they will order more tax increases (and phony spending cuts) to make up for the shortfall.

Then Democrats will have what they wanted in the first place: few spending cuts — and those overridden by entitlement increases — and a lasting program of tax increases. And nobody will have had to vote for the tax hikes! They will simply take effect automatically under the terms of the fiscal cliff deal.

When democrats talk about cutting entitlements, they never mention these "poverty-based" entitlements. And I don't hear any republicans talking about them either. Instead they talk about entitlements which people, to some degree, have paid in to the government with their own money and are getting some of their contributions returned to them such as with social security and medicare. Yes they SHOULD be entitled to at least get back what they paid in.

More important are the entitlements given to people who never paid in to the treasury nor have they earned them in any way. They receive these benefits merely because they breath and get up in the morning, albeit late in the morning. These must be dealt with. This is the essence of the democrat conviction of redistribution, i.e., taking from those who work and giving to those who don't work. Not all entitlements fit into that category and libs misunderstand conservatives and falsely claim that we believe all government payments are entitlements. They confuse those payments which are earned with those which are not. It's the ones that are not earned which conservatives are concerned about. (Not they we are not concerned about the unfunded liability of SS and Medicare, but there is a difference.) Someone in the republican party should be talking about cutting those poverty-based entitlements in addition to social security and Medicare. It seems neither party has the courage to enter into any discussion or debate over those entitlements. We should begin to talk about how government assistance should be a temporary hand up rather than a permanent handout. Look for ways to transition able-bodied people to take responsiblity for their own lives and start working. Set an end date for such benefits rather than create generational handouts with nothing expected in return such that these people are a burden on society rather than contributors to it. Libs would go crazy if that happened. It would eliminate any need for their pandering and offering free stuff so that they can get elected and stay in power. Can't have that.
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