February 11, 2005
The Fine Print
In his January 2003 SOTU speech, George W. Bush pledged $400 billion for the next ten years for the Medicare prescription drug benefit program. Shortly after signing it into law in December of the same year, the Administration revised the figure to $534 billion. Today, based on the budget figures released by the White House, the cost is more like $1.2 trillion.
Now Dick Cheney tells us that the borrowing cost of privatizing Social Security is $758 billion for the first ten years. Closer scrutiny by the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities reveals it's more like $1.4 trillion for the first ten years and $4.9 trillion for the first twenty years.
As shown in this graph, said borrowing just keeps going and going, with the additional debt rising every year, reaching up to 25% of GDP in 40 years and still growing beyond that until it slightly levels off during a 75-year projection period.
Did I mention that all this debt does nothing to remedy the projected Social Security shortfall?
And did I mention that these projections include a 50% guaranteed benefit cut which is part of Mr. Bush's privatization plan?
Yes Virginia, there's a 50% benefit cut.
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Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.
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