The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
Deficits are rising – and fast. In as soon as a year, they will top $1 trillion and never come back down unless Congress acts. This year’s deficit amounts to $6,200 per household and is more than we spend each year on Medicare or defense.
Interest on the debt rose by $62 billion over the previous year to $325 billion, which amounts to twice as much as we spend on the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security combined. Under current projections, annual interest payments on the debt could top $1 trillion by 2030.
So, we have dug ourselves a nice big hole. We need to spend less or raise more revenue (and keep in mind none of the above includes the deficits and debt of the various states).
Senator Sanders likes to say as the richest country on earth we should be able to spend more on healthcare, Social Security and more. That’s like saying the family with the largest house and most expensive cars is the richest on the block disregarding all they own is on credit with no savings.
Our challenge is to get our deficits and debt under control and then …
Assure Social Security is sustainably solvent
Assure Medicare is solvent
And if we accomplish all that, we can address:
Increase Social Security benefits
Provide free college tuition
Now, the question is what will you give up or how much more will you pay in taxes?
To make Social Security 75-year solvent requires an increase in payroll taxes by 2.78 percentage points. To make just the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust solvent requires an increase of 1.71 percent of taxable payroll. These two trusts are just the starting point dealing with non-discretionary spending.