I had a visit from two of them this week, Dean Baker and David Rosnick of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research. Their skepticism attaches to the notion -- propounded by the Bush White House and accepted by most of the inhabitants of the political and journalism worlds -- that the Social Security system is in crisis.
Baker and Rosnick suggest another way of making the same point. The tax increase needed to keep Social Security solvent for 75 years is of the same size as the likely growth in health care costs (above per capita gross domestic product) in the next 48 months.
The implication is obvious. "Politicians and commentators who claim to be concerned about the living standards of future generations of workers seem to be misdirecting their energy by focusing on the comparatively minor problem of Social Security," Baker and Rosnick write. "Clearly the inefficiency of the U.S. health care system poses a far larger and more immediate danger to the [living] standards of our children and grandchildren."
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