Battling Against the Truth

By John Lumbard.

  Spending more than you have feels pretty good, so the resistance to balanced budgets—or anything close to balanced budgets—is not surprising.  Still, it’s always a bit of a shock to read carefully-thought-out opinions, written by smart people, that are nonsensical efforts to bend reality to justify the status quo.

Today I Gooogled “balanced budget amendment”, looking for news from Washington, and came across an argument that starts with the premise that we HAVE to extend today’s Medicare standards to the Baby Boomer retirees of 2030.  Therefore we MUST spend far more than we’ve ever been able to collect in taxes.  In other words, we have to continue borrowing massively.  I’m not sure they’re actually going to put my comment up, but it was:

If you visit the White House Budget Ofice stats, you’ll find that we’ve never raised more than 20% of GDP—except just barely in 1944, 1945, and 2000.  And in these years there were long stretches when the top tax rate was 70% or even higher.  Europe raises more, via the value-added tax, but that’s a regressive sales tax.

You don’t call for a value-added tax, so you have 20% of GDP to spend.  It’s not enough to cover all the retirement needs of the Baby Boomers, so you simply throw a tantrum and say that you’re against all proposals.

The truth is that we’re not going to be able to care for the poor and elderly of the future if we continue on the current course.  No, you can’t just borrow massively every year for 40 years.  For facts and figures type We Elected You into Google or Bing.

The link to our Facts and Figures page is the first item in the blue bar above.

Author Information
No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>