Medicare: $37 Trillion of $44 Trillion Future Debt of US Gov

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Medicare: $37 Trillion of $44 Trillion Future Debt of US Gov

Do these figures also include the proposed prescription drug benefit as well?

Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
Medicare: $37 Trillion of $44 Trillion Future Debt of US Gov

National Center for Policy Analysis
Monday, June 9, 2003
Medicare Accounts for $37 Trillion of the $44 Trillion Future Debt of the U.S. GovernmentTHE REAL COST OF FUTURE DEFICITSThe real purpose of a Treasury Department report by Kent Smetters
and Jagadeesh Gokhale that shows future U.S. obligations to be
$44 trillion was not to alarm people about deficits 100 years or
more from now, but to help inform policymakers considering
significant changes to programs such as Social Security and
Medicare, says Bruce Bartlett. Using a conventional 75-year time horizon, Bartlett explains,
tends to exaggerate the cost of shifting toward private accounts
for Social Security, because much of the saving will fall more
than 75 years in the future. Nevertheless, the figures reveal
important imbalances in our largest entitlement programs. o The study shows that the biggest fiscal problem we have is
in Medicare -- it accounts for $37 trillion of the $44
trillion debt. o Almost all the rest is accounted for by Social Security,
which has promised benefits $7 trillion greater than
future revenues will support.Interestingly, the non-entitlement portion of the budget --
national defense and everything else the federal government does
-- runs a substantial surplus. Future revenues are estimated at
$85 trillion and spending at $80 trillion. When one throws in
the national debt, as conventionally measured, the non-Social
Security, non-Medicare portion of the budget is roughly in
balance.This fact puts a lie to the notion that recent tax cuts have
somehow contributed significantly to a $44 trillion debt, says
Bartlett. The imbalances in Social Security and Medicare are
inherent in those programs and will not be cured except by
fundamentally restructuring them. Raising taxes or rescinding
recent tax cuts will not suffice. Payroll taxes would have to
roughly double immediately and stay at that level forever to
cover the deficit, or income taxes would have to rise by 70
percent. (See figure.)
[url=] Bruce Bartlett, "The Real Cost of Future Deficits,"
National Center for Policy Analysis, June 9, 2003.For text
[url=] more on Federal Spending and Budget Issues

Mike G
Last seen: 6 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 02/17/2000 - 1:01am
US debt at 205

US debt at 205 Trillion

The $205 trillion fiscal gap is enormous. It's 10 percent of the present value of all future GDP. Equivalently, it corresponds to 10 percent of GDP year in and year out for as far as the eye can see. To raise 10 percent of GDP each year we could (a) raise all federal taxes, immediately and permanently, by 57 percent, (b) cut all federal spending, apart from interest on the debt, by 37 percent, immediately and permanently, or (c) do some combination of (a) and (b).

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