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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Economist Wants to Scare You Into Supporting Cuts to Social Security

The Economist Wants to Scare You Into Supporting Cuts to Social Security

Friday, 11 March 2011 17:46

That's why they show a scary looking graph that shows "entitlement" spending (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) going through the roof. They do this even though everyone who has looked at the issue knows that the real problem is health care spending. The U.S. spends more than twice as much per person as other wealthy countries.

The problem is our broken health care system. Here is the graph that honest people use.

Comments (8)Add Comment
social security is not entitlement
written by techy, March 11, 2011 6:14
If I am not wrong, most people receive benefits for what they have paid, well with some subsidy may be.
Spending More Does Not Mean Getting Less, Low-rated comment [Show]
If only it was that simple
written by Tony, March 12, 2011 4:52
Health care cost are a problem, but Dean never points out that one of the problems is that approximately 60% of Americans are overweight. I have read reports that claim that this adds at least $200 billion a year in additional health care costs. To solve this problem, I would put a huge fat tax of all junk food. Force people to change there eating habits, or they go broke. It worked in reducing smoking, and I believe it will work with obesity as well. Other entitlement problems include that supposedly the average retired person, collects about three times as much in medical benefits, then they pay into the system. My Mom pays only $93 dollars a month for medicare, and that is another big problem that needs to change. In my mind, they should be paying at least double what they are paying now, to help cover the costs. And as far as Social Security is concerned, the average person on Social Security today is collecting far more in benefits, then they ever paid into it. Even I at 54, will break even at 74, and everything after that is gravy for me. With the average life expectancy being around 78 and rising, our benefits should reflect that. Social Security should be a system that it at least breaks even, and right now, that is just not the case. I wish Dean get off the health care issue, and look at the big picture more. All our benefits are paying out more then they are collecting to support it. This has to change, if we are going to have any chance of solving our budget problems.
spendimg less does not mean getting less
written by civil discourse, March 12, 2011 8:17
Canada spends less and gets better care that our friends to the north are happier with - google it. Solving our health care problem - and it is a problem- requires "conservatives" best ideas and "liberal" ideas not stupid name calling. Ask 10 doctors, I doubt 1 will tell you our current insurance system works well. Corporations in the USA would be more competitive glibally they did not have to pay employee insurance... they only do so because of a historical anomaly whereby companies were not allowed to raise wages during a period of inflation fears. Big problems require big thinking not partisan snarking. Thanks to this blogger for informing the debate!

written by AndrewDover, March 12, 2011 8:18

See if

changes your mind.
Health Care Costs IS the Problem
written by Randy, March 12, 2011 10:32
This graph also shows the same problem:

Thanks Andrew Dover for the article
written by Tony, March 12, 2011 2:32
But it does not change my mind that obesity is a major problem in this country. If total health care costs are around 2 trillion per year, and obesity is about 200 billion of that cost, (if those numbers are correct) that is still about 10% of unnecessary cost. What I have heard is the biggest cost to health care, is all the efforts that are being made to keep our seniors alive during the last six months of their life. If you have a article to share that counters this argument, please forward it. Thanks.
written by Martin Seibold, March 13, 2011 8:11
It always amazes me when people call ssi an entitlement. If you put money in the bank ever month for forty year and then wanted to start taking some out would that entitlement be questioned.

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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.