Harvard Professor Gregory Mankiw (picture, left), in writing a hypothetical speech in the New York Times for the President in the year 2026, thinks politicians can kick the entitlements can down the road for another 15 years. His opening could come from any politician’s current teleprompter:

It used to be one of the great cities of a great nation, a thriving, prosperous metropolis humming night and day with the machinery of America’s industrial superiority. In 1950, individuals and families were still streaming to Detroit to work in the ever-growing automotive industry, and as the U.S. Census Bureau crunched the numbers that year they found the Motor City had grown to an astounding population of 1,849,568 people, with the city fathers predicting two million and beyond in the coming years.

Politically astute viewers of the Glenn Beck program know that he is sounding more like Ron Paul and less like a neoconservative every day. Regular viewers also know that Friday’s episodes tend to be a break from the monotony of current events, with a greater focus on foundations, whether it be the founding of this nation, or the foundations of progressivism, etc. The Friday, March 25, episode of the Glenn Beck program focused on one of the foundations of America’s economic woes: the Federal Reserve.

When Reuters and CNBC.com announced the awful housing numbers from February, most observers were surprised. The housing market appeared to have found a bottom last fall, and many economists were expecting small but predictable improvements every month.

When the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary analysis of the Obama Administration’s 2012 budget was announced last week, observers were shocked — shocked! — to learn that deficits over the next 10 years would be nearly $10 trillion, almost $2½ trillion more than the administration’s estimate.