"We should keep this line of argument in mind — and when somebody talks about the need to rein in entitlements, we should always ask whose interests, exactly, are being served."
Words of wisdom. When anybody wants anything changed, always consider why they're choosing that approach rather than another. Just because we're spending X amount doesn't mean we need to be spending less rather than raising more ... or raising it differently. If one buys the idea that spending X amount is somehow inherently bad in and of itself, one has just plain failed to consider the full picture. That doesn't make spending exactly X necessarily good either ... it just means that it one shouldn't consider X bad merely because X is at some arbitrary level.