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February 14, 2005

Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Fools? (Long Run Budget Edition)

Josh Micah Marshall foams at the mouth:

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: February 13, 2005 - February 19, 2005 Archives: It's amazing how many times the president can lose the Social Security phase-out debate without some of Washington's worthies even noticing. Today on the Stephanopoulos show, George asked Sen. Judd Gregg (R) of New Hampshire about whether there should be any changes to the new Medicare prescription drug law. Gregg noted that 'over its lifetime, 75 years ... it's going to cost us $8.6 trillion, which we don't have.' So that's an $8.6 trillion shortfall, albeit spread out over the lengthy period of three-quarters of a century. The president has said that he'll veto any effort to trim those costs. So that amount of money is manageable.

And yet Social Security -- the program that President Bush thinks is swooning and flailing like some B-Movie damsel in distress -- faces a shortfall of only $3.7 trillion over the same period of time.

The price of keeping Social Security kicking for another 75 years is less than half of that it will take just for the bill President Bush pushed through last year. And because of that Social Security has to go and the drug bill is inviolate.

Why, oh why, must we have this debate on training wheels?

Posted by DeLong at February 14, 2005 05:02 PM