Entitlement Peril!!!

December 17th, 2007at 10:52pm Posted by Eli

Just in case there hasn’t been enough drumbeating for Social Security reform, it looks like the AP has gotten into the act:

The shortfall between the promises the government has made on Social Security, Medicare and other benefit programs is $45 trillion over the next 75 years, up nearly $1 trillion in just one year, the Bush administration reported Monday.

The administration, releasing the “Financial Report of the United States Government” for 2007, said that the gap between benefits that have been promised and projected revenues is up 67.8 percent from just four years ago, when it was estimated at $26.9 trillion.

This shortfall includes Social Security and Medicare in addition to Railroad Retirement and the Black Lung program.

(…)

Members of Congress said the increase in the unfunded liability for Social Security and Medicare underscored the critical urgency to do something in light of the looming retirement in coming years of 78 million baby boomers.

(…)

[O]fficials warned that something must be done to address the significant shortfall in the government’s largest benefit programs for Social Security and Medicare.

Shorter AP: Oh noes! Socialsecurityandmedicare is totally insolvent! We must reform Social Security immediately! (Because no-one ever, ever wants to talk about reforming Medicare)

Of course, if you actually look at the report, the Medicare deficit dwarfs the Social Security one, either $34T-$6T (p. 46) or $29T-$16T (p. 25), depending on whether you’re including people under 14 (the $34T-$6T number). But somehow Social Security reform is all anyone ever wants to talk about.

Even more interesting, if you look at expenditures as a percentage of GDP (p. 5, the chart titled “Current Trends Are Not Sustainable”), you see that Social Security holds fairly steady, Medicare and Medicaid expand significantly, and Net Interest positively explodes. This is why running up the national debt is bad, kids.

Me personally, I’m not worried about whether Socialsecurityandmedicare is insolvent or not, because Billgatesandeli has a net worth of $59 billion.

(h/t dakine)

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Republicans,Social Security,Wankers


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