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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press New York Times Puts Another Anti-Social Security Editorial In the News Section

New York Times Puts Another Anti-Social Security Editorial In the News Section

Friday, 29 July 2011 04:10

The NYT again complained in its news section that Congress did not make cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, telling readers that the debt reduction plans under consideration "defer tough decisions." (Here's the previous editorial.) It then turns to Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Peter Peterson-funded Concord Coalition, to tell readers that the real budget problems are the entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Of course the reality is that Social Security is projected to be fully solvent for the next quarter century with no changes whatsoever. Even after that date the trustees' projections show that it will be able to pay almost 80 percent of benefits indefinitely.

Medicare and Medicaid show much more rapid cost growth, however the problem with these programs is the projected growth of private sector health care costs. The United States already pays more than twice as much per person for health care as other wealthy countries. This gap is projected to grow in the decades ahead. If the health care system is not fixed it will have a devastating impact on the economy regardless of what is done with the public sector health care program. By contrast, if we fix our health care system, then there is no long-run deficit problem.

Comments (2)Add Comment
One for All and All for One: No Entitlements
written by izzatzo, July 29, 2011 7:21
...the real budget problems are the entitlement programs...

Exactly. It's about time the NYT reported on protective entitlements designed to shield their recipients from the fierce gale winds of free markets heaped on everyone else.

When it comes down to who should be subject to competition there's no exceptions. It's like sports. There's a referee that serves as the role of government and that's it.

May the best and brightest take all as winners.

Stupid liberals.
written by bmz, July 29, 2011 8:10
Assuming the NYT is liberal, you are correct. What is really behind all the Republicons are doing: stealing workers retirement funds. The surpluses Clinton left for Bush were enough to pay off the entire US debt by the time that the Social Security/Medicare trust funds would have to be amortized for beneficiary payments, all without having to raise taxes to pay for the amortization of those trust funds. The surplus Bush inherited was made up almost entirely of excess payroll taxes building up the trust funds. Bush took those excess payroll tax receipts and gave them “back” as income tax reductions, heavily weighted to the wealthy–who didn’t create those surpluses in the first place. By doing this, Bush guaranteed that taxes would have to be raised in order to amortize the trust funds. The failure to do so simply permits the Republicons to steal the money contributed by workers for their retirement. Everything about not raising taxes or limiting expenses, is about stealing our money.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.