Current fiscal deficit hawks…oops!
Projected growth in spending on the federal government’s big health and retirement programs–Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security–dominates the long-run budget outlook. If current policies continue, that spending is likely to grow significantly faster than the economy as a whole over the next few decades. By 2040, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects those outlays will rise to about 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)– more than double their current share.
CBO report ready for hawking in year 2000.
Was this before or after our deficit hawks started crowing in year 2000?
(a figure virtually identical to current estimates…oops…2010)
Hat tip Simon Johnson in It’s hard to take the fiscal hawks seriously.
Perhaps if we dismiss the current hawks we could actually address the issue of deficits.
yes, i have a textbook from 1980 which explains the “myths” about Social Security… same myths we keep hearing. It also shows the projections that prove we are all going to die by the year 2000.
What it shows is that if you tell a big enough lie, when it doesn’t come true, just use that as an occasion to tell the same lie over again, just the dates are changed to fool the innocent.
But here is an even better thought: Suppose it DOES take 17% (1/6) of GDP to pay for medical care for elderly and poor plus basic living expenses for people too old to work. Is that so terrible?
The fact is that this is your money and you ought to be spending it first on what you need. And you are going to need medical insurance and retirement insurance. You do not necessarily need new submarines, new cars, or new trips to Las Vegas.
Think of it as a “tax” and it sound like a horrible burden. Think of it as the cost of living without fear for a longer healthier life, and you wonder what else you would spend your money on.
And the fact that they never show you is that the same projections that show rising health care and retirement costs also show rising incomes. So at the end of the day you will end up with twice as much money to spend on submarines and cars and Vegas AFTER paying for your basic retirement needs including health insurance.
That doesn’t say we can’t do the health insurance better, but you can see how hard that is with so many Interests that need their cut.
“Perhaps if we dismiss the current hawks we could actually address the issue of deficits.”
Right. Current deficits are too small. We need to increase them, first, to bring unemployment down, and quickly, and second, to reduce the personal debt of the average person. Then we can go forward on a sound basis. 🙂
The US is unique in OEDC that it spends 19.6% of outlays on warfare, while the rest spenda 6% or less.
It is similarly different in spending another 20% on other things aside from human servcies.
The 17% of GDP required for humane services is very doable if the war machine and corporate welfare were brought to modern standards.
Instead of a 60 40 split the US can abide with a 80 20 split with only 20% of outlays going to corporate welfare.
Or maybe the trend will go toward producing things in the US that old people and the sick can benefit from, instead of war materials.
I just heard David Stockman on NPR
he agrees with me. it would be folly not to let the Bush tax cuts expire… for both the top two percent AND for the so-called middle class.
says that what made sense in early 80’s no long makes sense because of the last ten years of budget deficits.
sounds like the beginning of a great friendship.
hate to keep beating this drum
but while i agree that spending 80% of the budget on “social spending” might be a good idea
Social Security is still off budget, because it is the people, each one, paying for his own retirement insurance. That is very different from a general tax which is spent on welfare for the aged.
It’s too bad no one understands this anymore. But it was FDR’s very excellent idea.
SS may be off budget, and some or all of medicare maybe be off budget but medicaid and a couple of other program which aid the “less fortunate” are not off budget.
And when the opposition to SS talks entitlements they use Pete Peterson’s money to lump them all into entitlements.
I have been doing some research into US history on the big ship navy, which has been obsolete since 1945 but which is threatened with new obsolescence by a missile the PRC is working to develop. I am reminded in this quest that Teddy Roosevelt when indorsing Alfred Thayer Mahan’s book designed to sell the US on a blue water navy to tilt with our main customer Great Britain said: A country should (the word used is impolitic today) have a navy if it can afford “pensions and public buildings”.
In the 2010’s the tenor needs to be a country with half the world’s war machines and huge public works needs to take care of its sick, poor and elderly.
Teddy a progressive did not say the navy should take away from pensions and public works, in fact that is not what he supported.
He would be speaking loudly about the unpatriotic actions of the rich wanting to lend money to the governemtn which is the source of their security and bail outs.
The argument has to turn toward justice.
i agree with you.
but the petersons lump ss in with medicaid because their argument against ss is completely bogus. include medicaid and it’s harder to see that it is completely bogus.
what could be more justice than workers paying for their own retirement, using the government just to keep their savings safe?
Coberly wrote “It is the people, each one, paying for his retirement insurance. That is very different from a general tax that is spent on welfare for the aged.”
Can you provide a reputable third party source which veriifies that statement?
From a paper entitled “Federal Debt and the Commitments of Federal Trust Funds,”published by the CBO, “The securities of the trust fund do not represent the amount of future benefits that people are entitled to, nor are they the resources the government will need to pay beneficiaroes. While a trust fund’s balance may set a limit on what can be spent the balance is not earmarked for specific recipients. The individual payments or benefits prescribed by law are derived from separate rules or from annual appropriation acts. The benefits of future Social Security recipients IS FOUND FROM A FORMULA SET IN LAW, NOT THE TAXES PEOPLE PAID.”
The government either owes something or owns something, not both.”