Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong
601 Evans, University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax
April 29, 1996
In 1995, federal spending on Social Security amounted to 4.7 percent of GDP.
Thus today the big entitlement programs consume some 8.5 percent
of GDP; by 2015--when you are in your peak earning years--these
programs would, if current laws remain unchanged, amount to 13.7
percent of GDP.
Suppose we wiped out all non-military discretionary programs: that would save only some 3.0 percent of GDP's worth of federal spending in 2015.
Suppose we wiped out all other entitlement programs: that would only save some 3.1 percent of GDP's worth of federal spending in 2015.
Unless we grow faster (in population or in productivity), we have a big problem.
Current federal spending (excluding offsetting receipts): 22.9 percent of GDP
Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong, 601