We are gutting government. It is an extreme irony of the Obama presidency that a proud liberal — someone who believes in government’s constructive role — is presiding over the harshest squeeze on government since World War II.

What’s happening is simple: Spending on the elderly and health care is slowly overwhelming the rest of the federal government. Spending on other vital activities (from defense to financial regulation) is being sacrificed to cover the growing costs of a graying nation.

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