Monday, May 19, 2008

Welfare State Is Unsustainable

This from USA Today:

The federal government's long-term financial obligations grew by $2.5 trillion last year, a reflection of the mushrooming cost of Medicare and Social Security benefits as more baby boomers reach retirement.

That's double the red ink of a year earlier.

Taxpayers are on the hook for a record $57.3 trillion in federal liabilities to cover the lifetime benefits of everyone eligible for Medicare, Social Security and other government programs, a USA TODAY analysis found. That's nearly $500,000 per household.

Adding (more) socialized medicine to that debt doesn't strike me a good idea.

8 comments:

Ronnie said...

You know what would help with our debt problem? Actually taxing the people who have money, since Bush's tax cuts really were a great decision when it was clear we were going into debt.

allen (in Michigan) said...

See, this shows that you're a conservative.

Worrying about dreary details like costs and sense of responsibility for your actions and decisions when there are exciting opportunities to display your deep commitment to your moral outrage.

> Adding (more) socialized medicine to that debt doesn't strike me a good idea.

It strikes a lot of people as a not so good idea. That's why Hillary moved to the right noticeably enough to outrage NARAL, Moveon.org, Code Pink and their like and now they're having to come to terms with Obama doing the same thing.

You can be pretty far to the left to get the Democratic nomination but pretty clearly the candidates don't think you can stay there if you expect to get elected.

Leftie issues are having a similarly tough, upstream fight despite the best efforts of the faithful.

The lefties get a slice here and a slice there but as welfare reform proved, it only takes one election to undo the careful, tedious work of decades. As the direction of the candidate's movement indicates, time isn't on the lefties side.

Ellen K said...

Gee, I wonder how much of that is due to identity theft. Most of the recent ICE busts weren't because of illegal immigration but instead due to the many MANY people whose social security, Medicare and Medicaid are being denied or held up because someone else is fraudulently using their numbers.

Darren said...

Ronnie, how much in taxes did Senators Feinstein, Kennedy, Clinton, and Boxer, and Speaker Pelosi, pay in taxes last year? You know who I mean, those millionaires who have all that money.

Ronnie said...

Probably less than they would have had the tax cuts never been introduced. My point is that tax cuts when your already spending more than your taking in isn't being a conservative, it's being part of the problem.

Darren said...

Ronnie, you already know that when taxes are too high, reducing tax rates leads to an increase in tax revenue. Don't play dumb--I know who you had for econ!

Ronnie said...

I want to know if that was actually the case though since if it was then that was the correct plan. But then I don't see how Republicans can support McCain since he disagreed with them so long over it, voting against the tax cuts multiple times. I personally doubt the pre-Bush tax cuts rates were high enough for that theory to hold true, and that all it did was increase the growing deficit. Also that theory relies on different factors such as how easy it is to avoid paying taxes, something that can be altered with different tax reform, possibly offsetting the effects if there actually were any.

Darren said...

From what I've read, that was the case. When you're to the right of the vertex on the Laffer Curve, cutting tax rates increases tax revenue. It worked for Kennedy in the 60's, Reagan in the 80's, and Bush in the 00's.