Monday, March 5, 2007

They're All Big, and They're All Bad

Money 3 There's been so much to-do about NY's comptroller that I nearly forgot there was a U.S. comptroller, but he made quite a noise on 60 Minutes this week--noise that went largely unreported. Still, I found it pretty convincing and seriously alarming, tho' perhaps not as sexy as some mother-of-two cut into pieces by her frostbitten hubby. Here are some highlights.

"If nothing changes [by 2040], the federal government's not gonna be able to do much more than pay interest on the mounting debt and some entitlement benefits. It won't have money left for anything else – national defense, homeland security, education, you name it.

"The Medicare problem is five times greater than the Social Security problem.

"The prescription drug bill was probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s. With one stroke of the pen, the federal government increased existing Medicare obligations nearly 40 percent over the next 75 years. We’d have to have eight trillion dollars today, invested in treasury rates, to deliver on that promise."

Asked how much we actually have, Walker says, "Zip."

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