James Leroy Wilson's blog

Friday, August 10, 2007

Headed for Crisis

The Concord Coalition continues to state what should be obvious about the budget, Social Security, and Medicare. Our situation is not tenable, and we will either have to tax more or spend less - with the latter far, far more preferable. This 18-page report is worth a look for those with a wonkish bent.

Unfortunately, as the C.C. notes, partisan "playing to the base" will trap Presidential candidates into making promises they will try to keep. On the Democratic side, expand entitlements and be vague about how to pay for them. On the Republican side, make tax cuts permanent without proposing corresponding spending cuts. Negotiations and compromise will remain unlikely. Meanwhile, if nothing is done Social Security and Medicare commitments will put us in a position where the federal government taxes 18% of GDP but spends 30%.

Among the proposals I like: raise Social Security's age eligibility and index payments according to inflation. And certainly, we can stop using tax dollars for "heroic intervention techniques" so that elderly patients continue to live despite a "dismal quality of life." Our standards and expectations for good health and "health care" are out of control, which is why health care costs are out of control.

1 comment:

  1. I propose that the fedgov stop discouraging tobacco and alcohol use and consumption of transfats. Also the war on obesity is counterproductive since it might lead to a proliferation of pensioners.