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Kevin Drum has a good analysis of the Two Dudes1 deficit-reduction plan that the yammering class is discussing:
To put this more succinctly: any serious long-term deficit plan will spend about 1% of its time on the discretionary budget, 1% on Social Security, and 98% on healthcare. Any proposal that doesn’t maintain approximately that ratio shouldn’t be considered serious. The Simpson-Bowles plan, conversely, goes into loving detail about cuts to the discretionary budget and Social Security but turns suddenly vague and cramped when it gets to Medicare. That’s not serious.
There are other reasons the Simpson-Bowles plan isn’t serious. Capping revenue at 21% of GDP, for example. The plain fact is that over the next few decades Social Security will need a little more money and healthcare will need a lot more. That will be true even if we implement the greatest healthcare cost containment plan in the world. Pretending that we can nonetheless cap revenues at 2000 levels isn’t serious.
And their tax proposal? As part of a deficit reduction plan they want to cut taxes on the rich and make the federal tax system more regressive? That’s not serious either.
(click to continue reading Is the Deficit Commission Serious? | Mother Jones.)
Social Security is not the problem, health care costs is, especially as our population ages. However, the Republicans and their Wall Street buddies are salivating at the prospect of dismantling Social Security, and diverting the funds into the markets, so instead of talking about Medicare, they concentrate upon Social Security.Footnotes:
- Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles [↩]