Thursday, July 28, 2011

Those Stupid Old People

Paul Samuelson was a brilliant Nobel Prize winning economist who used to write a column for Newsweek. Robert J Samuelson is some idiot hack that Newsweek hired to write about economics after Paul Samuelson left. His lack of knowlege of economics hasn't really handicapped his career since his actual job is to be a reliable right-wing mouthpiece.

His latest column in the WaPo is It’s the elderly, stupid. Naturally, he leads with some transparent falsehoods.

...we’ve heard almost nothing of the main problem that makes the budget so intractable.

It’s the elderly, stupid.

By now, it’s obvious that we need to rewrite the social contract that, over the past half-century, has transformed the federal government’s main task into transferring income from workers to retirees. In 1960, national defense was the government’s main job; it constituted 52 percent of federal outlays. In 2011 — even with two wars — it is 20 percent and falling. Meanwhile, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other retiree programs constitute roughly half of non-interest federal spending.

Our current budget deficit has nothing to do with these programs - they remain in the black. Two wars, Bush's big tax cuts for the rich, and Bush's depression account for essentially all the recent rapid build up in debt.

The future costs of medical care, both medicare and otherwise, are scary, but rest assured that Samuelson has nothing sensible to say on that subject.

He does think that we need to cut social security, medicare, and federabl retirement.