Friday, August 24, 2012

Romney and Obama: Both Wrong on Medicare


Michael D. Tanner:
Let's try to put the ongoing debate over the future of Medicare into a little bit of context. Last year, Americans paid $274 billion in Medicare taxes and premiums. At the same time, the program paid out $564 billion in benefits. That amounts to a shortfall of roughly $290 billion. Looking into the future, even the most optimistic estimate by the program's trustees puts Medicare's future unfunded liabilities at more than $38.6 trillion. More realistic projections suggest the shortfall could easily top $90 trillion.

Faced with this ocean of red ink, the Obama and Romney campaigns are busy claiming that the other guy wants to cut Medicare. They, on the other hand, would never think for a moment about cutting anyone's Medicare benefits. Hello. Can anyone out there do math?
Yup. As I noted last week, the medicare attack from the Romney campaign is, at best, a mixed blessing.

On the other hand, again, Ryan has demonstrated that he can do the math. And realistically, you cannot take it away from people who have planned, and depend, on it. But you cannot maintain it in perpetuity, either...

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