Jan 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm
Suzy Khimm has a nice write-up of a Peterson Foundation piece that looks to me like another example of why we must all stay in crisis mode on the deficit or why won’t “cut deeply enough” or make the “hard choices” that the “serious people” know we must.
Your first hint that there’s from fear mongering going on here comes from the image you see when you click on the link to the study—the Capitol building perched on the edge of an abyss, with chunks of the building already falling into the depths.
While our approach at CBPP has been to point out what’s needed to stabilize the debt over the next decade—and stress that the extent of further-out-in-time budget pressures depend on health care costs and the impact of new policies to curb them—the basic approach taken here is to get people worried enough about post-2022 projections that they’re willing to pass “entitlement reforms” now.
That is both unwise and unnecessary. First, as mentioned, we need to see the trajectory of health costs that have slowed in recent years. If that sticks, the forecasts will be improved.
Second, this Congress is the wrong Congress with which to engage in such reforms. They cannot be trusted to do so in such a way as to protect economically vulnerable beneficiaries. They will fix social insurance by breaking social insurance.
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