Douthat's Projections on Social Security Conflict with Reality

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Written by CEPR   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 14:40

In Ross Douthat's response in the New York Times to last night's State of the Union address, he summarizes the shortcomings of Obama's populist approach to his re-election campaign, specifically the emphasis on politics over policy. In particular, Douthat points out: "Raising taxes on the richest 1 percent will not cover the projected cost of Medicare and Social Security once the baby boom generation has retired." By the "projected cost" of Social Security, does he mean these projections? Because as Dean Baker points out over at Beat the Press, the Congressional Budget Office's projections show Social Security will be fully solvent for almost three decades, with no changes whatsoever, and it will be able to pay more than 80 percent of scheduled benefits after that date for the rest of the century.

Of course if you lump anything in with Medicare, like muffins (thanks, JSeydl), you can make it look like that second item is also experiencing explosive growth. Magic!