Later today the Republican-led House of Representatives will vote on “Plan B,” the latest unsatisfactory proposal put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to avoid the fiscal cliff. Boehner’s plan would protect most Americans, except for millionaires, from a tax hike. But even this is a poor fix because it ignores the real problem: spending.

While lawmakers from both parties squabble over tax rates, a fiscal crisis is looming on the horizon. Entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare to be precise — have unfunded obligations of $48 trillion. By comparison, the fiscal cliff carries a price tag of roughly $650 billion. As lawmakers talk about another debt-limit increase, they need to think seriously about America’s long-term obligations.

So what can our elected leaders do about it?

The first step is recognizing the problem exists, which for some Democrats is mighty difficult. A story in Politico reveals that liberals are having “heartburn” and doing “some painful soul-searching” over a relatively simple fix to Social Security’s annual cost-of-living increases.

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