Robert J. Samuelson, comedian:Writes
in the Washington Post:
Last week, I viewed "I.O.U.S.A.," an 87-minute documentary exploring the grim budget outlook. In many ways, unbalanced budgets define the political deadlock. The persistence of deficits over so many years (42 of the past 47) can have only one basic cause: Politicians of both parties prefer spending to taxing. As everyone knows, the disconnect will worsen, because aging baby boomers will bloat outlays for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs already total nearly two-fifths of the $2.9 trillion federal spending in 2008. ...
Over the years, I've suggested changes to minimize these dangers. Eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare should gradually rise to 70; people now live longer and should work longer.
Increases in productivity have, and will continue to, outpace increasing lifespans. That means greater national wealth (GDP) going forward, and the payroll taxes on that will cover Social Security. Also, Social Security is its own program with its own bonds that have to be honored.
Has Samuelson ever blown the whistle on the deceptive
Unified Budget, as opposed to the more relevant General Fund Deficit? The Unified Budget hid the costs of Bush's tax cuts and the Iraq War.
Also, no mention by Samuelson about the military/"homeland security" budget, which is way too big.
Samuelson's op-ed is, yet again, another Social Security bashing that Dean Baker frequently
I hate that damn movie; it's tied to Pete Peterson, who was part of the successful effort to allow hedge fund managers to be taxed at the lower capital gains rate.