Yes, it is so frustrating that President Obama keeps missing the opportunity to whack the elderly. Of course fans of arithmetic know that the story of projected long-term budget deficits is the broken U.S. health care system. If we paid the same amount per person for our care as people in other wealthy countries we would be looking at long-term surpluses, not deficits. And, if we can't fix our health care system because groups like the pharmaceutical industry and the doctors are too powerful, we could always go the route of trade to take advantage of lower costs elsewhere. Unfortunately, public policy is dominated by protectionists like Samuelson, who obstruct such trade. But these political obstacles do not change the truth. The budget problem is health care, health care and health care.

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