Is Nothing Sacred Anymore? Maybe Not

Slowly, reluctantly, but inexorably, the political system is zeroing in on federal programs that, until now, have been considered untouchable. Not long ago, terrified lawmakers would not even talk about cutting spending for programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Now, the House is taking votes on ways to curb these and other entitlement programs, and a Presidential commission is looking at serious long-term cuts. At the same time, Washington is starting to turn its attention to another corner of government that has been growing uncontrollably, the 140 subsidies that litter the Internal Revenue Code--subsidies such as the home-mortgage deduction.

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