Balancing the Budget Is Easy

David Henderson and Arnold Kling both take up the New York Times challenge and eliminate the deficit by 2015/2030 by cutting spending and (mainly) not raising taxes. Only problem, no one is explaining how you cut Medicare to the bone without harming the elderly. Even so, here is David’s comment:

Here’s a prediction: if the New York Times keeps this game up on its site, a whole lot of people are going to be more sympathetic to cutting government and more optimistic that it can be done. One of my objections to Tea Partiers is how uninformed some of them are about the numbers. Now, thanks to the New York Times, they don’t have to be.

Comments (6)

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  1. Ken says:

    I agree with you on Medicare. It’s all wishful thinking.

  2. Joe says:

    There is an old joke about three economists stranded on an island with canned goods and no way to open them. So one says, “Assume a can opener.” That’s how all these people are approaching Medicare.

  3. Larry C. says:

    I agree with Ken and Joe. The NYT calculator gives the illusion of cost control.

  4. Vicki says:

    The NCPA seems to be the only organization that has a realistic plan to control Medicare spending. These other people (Obama Administration, Debt Commission, etc.) seem to think they can control costs by just wishing them controlled.

  5. Erik says:

    It is easy to control cost in health care.

    standardized prices.

    I can buy a $10 hammer no matter where I go to shop. But when I need a CATSCAN well the price can swing by a thousand dollars.

    This has nothing to do with market forces. It has to do with market share which is another name for a monopoly.

    Let’s face it Doc’s, your part of the problem.

  6. Virginia says:

    I echo Erik. Pricing transparency is a good thing.

    I did the Pete G. Peterson debt challenge that was in Dallas earlier this year. It was a REALLY long and grueling day, and although our group eventually came to an agreement on cuts, it was very difficult. One woman actually said, “I know that it has to be done, but my heart won’t let me.” She almost started crying because she didn’t want to cut any social services, even though she knew it would bankrupt the country.

    Medicare is a tough problem. I just hope my generation gets a choice to opt out.