social skills13 Dec 2004
The CBPP has a good comprehensive tour of the lies being told about social security’s solvency. But this is all you really need to know:
As noted, the deficit in Social Security over the next 75 years equals 0.7 percent of GDP according to the Social Security actuaries and 0.4 percent of GDP according to CBO. By comparison, the cost over 75 years of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, if the tax cuts are made permanent and not eroded over time by the Alternative Minimum Tax, is roughly two percent of GDP.
In other words, if the tax cuts are made permanent, their cost will be three to five times larger over the next 75 years than the size of the Social Security shortfall. Furthermore, just the cost of the tax cuts for the top one percent of the population — a group whose annual incomes average about $1 million — is roughly the same size as the Social Security shortfall (0.6 percent of GDP).
Even if one uses “infinite horizon” estimates, the cost of the tax cut still exceeds the size of the Social Security shortfall. The projected cost of the tax cuts, if made permanent, is $18 trillion under this measure, as compared to the $10 trillion projection for the Social Security imbalance.