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Why we have a budget problem

Austin Frakt is right. You really can't post this graph enough:


If you're trying to bring the budget into balance, nothing really matters except for Medicare and Medicaid. Other things can help, of course. But they can't get you to balance, or close to it.

Luckily, the Democrats have gotten a start on Medicare. The graph in this post is pre-Affordable Care Act. That legislation made some progress on Medicare and Medicaid, though progress that the Republicans want to roll back. But it won't be enough. Not near it. So the fact that the main proposal Republicans have to deal with these two programs is to undo what little we've done to bring them closer to balance is really worrying. It's like you're nutritionist telling you to put M&Ms back into your diet.

By Ezra Klein  | September 24, 2010; 9:32 AM ET
Categories:  Budget  
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yes you can't post it enough. Kind of makes it WRONG for Dems to have passed the Doc Fix AGAIN.

hopefully in the next Congress Speaker Boehner addresses this issue finally.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

So how about a T-shirt? I'll buy one

Posted by: bdballard | September 24, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have comparable projections for national income and national expenditures on health care?

Posted by: pneogy | September 24, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, wake up, you've already made two major grammar errors today. Ouch! Someone didn't have breakfast.

"And it's not even quite fair to call the Bush tax cuts their idea, as the only reason they're on the agenda is that their scheduled expiration forced them their."

"It's like you're nutritionist"

Posted by: johnsonr1 | September 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, the Dems passed the Doc Fix because they were going to get demagogued on the issue by Republicans. I'm skeptical that Boehner or the Republicans even want to address the Doc Fix, but if they don't pass it I'm sure they'll get demagogued by the Dems. Nobody wants to be the one in charge when they have to tell doctors that they're going to get paid less.

Posted by: MosBen | September 24, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse


while I'll agree that they'd get Demagogued on the issue does that mean fixing it isn't the right thing to do? And to that end its not as if DEMS don't demagogue themselves? I mean the far left has a whole "cat food commission" schtick going.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 24, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

No, I agree, and tried to say in my last post, that both parties will just keep kicking the can on this issue when they're in charge because the other party will always demagogue them on it. Neither party is the good guy on this one; just cowardly politicians and too-powerful lobbies.

Posted by: MosBen | September 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Since the post you linked to, he's posted a version with 2010 data. I can't link to it, but it's currently on the front page at theincidentaleconomist.

Posted by: jbandlow | September 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

How can one part of your brain get that nothing really matters besides current HEALTHCARE SPENDING and yet the other side of your same brain not get that Obamacare is going to be MORE OF THE SAME?

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 24, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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