“A Very Good Question About Our National Debt”

by Little Miss Attila on April 18, 2011

Jim Manzi in NRO:

The total present value of payments expected under Social Security and Medicare beyond what is expected to be collected under current tax laws is about $100 trillion. One way to put that amount of money in context is to note that it is about twice the amount of all the net private assets that exist in America today.

UPDATE: Megan McArdle has more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

ponce April 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Wingnuts always try to join Social Security and Medicare together because their Wall Street masters want to get their hands on Social Security so badly.

It’s like saying me and Bill Gates together are worth billions of dollars.

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Darrell April 18, 2011 at 11:13 pm

You and Gates together have a combined IQ of 200.

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John April 19, 2011 at 4:35 am

That’s what wingnuts want? I thought they want Detroit to win the Stanley Cup.

I’d like to know who is advocating that we join these two programs together. Your post is the first I’d heard of it. The fiscal conservative position is that both systems be made actuarily sound via a gradual increase of the eligiblity age.

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Roxeanne de Luca April 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

Aside from the obvious point that we need entitlement reform if we can’t pay out Social Security with every single asset in the United States, it also shows that we need economic growth. Money is made, not distributed, found, acquired, or the like, and pro-growth initiatives (usually couched in terms of the rich getting richer – [eye roll]) are necessary for everyone in America to have a good retirement.

Loaded question: are retirement benefits for illegal aliens factored into that? A lot of people are arguing now that they “deserve” Social Security and Medicare because they “paid into it” (about, oh, two thousand a year or so, tops), they would be “impoverished in America” if we didn’t give it to them (returning to Mexico not being an option), or it’s just “fair”.

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