We have a real fear - yes, fear - that our government is going past the point of no return on spending and taxes. Entitlements now constitute 38% of the federal budget; including quasi-entitlement social program spending brings the total to 57%. Service on the debt adds another 9%, defense accounts for another 20%. This does include the new bailout and stimulus spending.
It's clear that there is no political gain for any leader to restrain entitlements: it will require an act of political sacrifice by the country's leadership to bring this under control. If the President could bring this financial hemorrhaging to an end, would he sacrifice a second term to bring it about?