David Leonhardt–The Deficit We Want

We have come to believe a story about the deficit that is largely not true.

It’s a comforting story, to be sure. It holds the promise of a painless solution, because it suggests that the country’s huge looming deficits are not really our fault. Instead, they seem to stem from weak-willed politicians, wasteful government programs that do not benefit us and tax avoidance by people we have never met.

In truth, the coming deficits are a result, above all, of the fact that most Americans are scheduled to receive far more in Medicare benefits than they have paid in Medicare taxes. Conservative and liberal economists agree on this point. After Medicare on the list of big, growing budget items come Social Security and the military.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, The U.S. Government

3 comments on “David Leonhardt–The Deficit We Want

  1. Henry Greville says:

    Inevitably cost-cutting alone won’t be enough. We should all get ready for creeping increases in payroll taxes for which no one political figure or movement should be blamed. Blame all of us and our longer lives than our great-grandparents and grandparents would ever have imagined.

  2. Capt. Father Warren says:

    Before I let anyone get away with blaming me for all this (the SSN I will take someday, the medicare I will take someday, and hey, how about the solar tax credits I’m taking for 2010 while we’re playing the blame game), how about the slick-willie type politicians who sold everyone this voodoo medicine just to buy a continuing stream of votes?

    In another words, don’t start off blaming me for something I have been FORCED to participate in all my working life. All the Progressives have seen the power-based potentials of looping the population into these grand ponzi schemes so that they can be enshrined as the elites of Leadership for all time.

    Barack Obama is just the latest elixer seller with ObamaCare, knowing that the odds are pretty good that the immediate benefits to his base will outweigh the efforts of the sheep being shorn to repeal the darn thing. And he just may get away with it!

  3. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    #2 I agree. I have had NO CHOICE. Liberals love to parade the thought that this is all voluntary, despite the fact that the taxes are collected at the point of a gun. (Don’t believe me? Try not paying them sometime.) My life and liberty are at the mercy of IRS agents with guns that can storm into my home, seize me and all my property and assets, and I will have to prove my innocence rather than have the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution! To say or imply that ANY of this is voluntary or that I have ANY responsibility for this unwanted theft of my money (which is an expression of time and talent of my life itself) is akin to blaming a rape victim for being raped!!! I have consistently voted against tax increases and against politicians that seek to increase taxation to the very best of my ability for my entire adult life. I DO NOT SHARE the blame for this mess!!! I HATE IT from the very core of my being that we have an income tax and a payroll tax!!! I WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO CUT SPENDING. Can I be any clearer than that?

    Now, to the article…

    Here is the money quote for me:

    [blockquote]“The United States faces a fundamental disconnect between the services that people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans,” Doug Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, has said, “and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services.”[/blockquote]

    We have approximately HALF of the citizens of the United States that PAY NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX.

    Does anyone seriously doubt that this priviledged class of Federal Income Tax exempt people are not the real problem with our system of taxation? They have no “skin in the game”, so they will continure to vote for “bread and circuses” and we will continue to devalue our currency to try to stay ahead of their profligacy as our nation and even our civilization is deconstructed right before our eyes.

    Make no mistake, this is the sort of thing that brought on the Dark Ages and we as a nation and civilization are running as fast as our Liberal porcine legs will take us to run over the cliffs of Gadarene. My hope is that my family and I will be as the man/men cleansed by this action and we will be left sitting clothed and in our right minds…free at last from the oppression that has haunted us our entire lives.