A 2002 report on the deficit is of little value in solving 2018’s SSC and Medicare problems.
I’d have to disagree. The entitlements are mathematical problems that build on themselves over time via compounding, and at any step can be predictively modeled and extrapolated over time. The first step to solving any problem is to understand it fully, and the posted documents (which, btw, arrived at the same conclusions as did Alice Rivlin when she went through the same exercise for Clinton in 1993) basically “show the math” as to the scope of the problem, and remain valid.
Think of it this way: the basic mathematical modeling that predicts future climate change was all done in the 1990’s. If I were to tell you that those models are no longer valid simply because they are 25 years old, would you then agree that climate change is bunk?
Of course you wouldn’t. And not even the climate change skeptics (who tend to be pretty good with math) would try to sell that one to you.
But, larger picture, back of the napkin stuff: If the Smetters/Gokhale model shows that a 16.6% increase in tax revenues in the US were required to balance the 75 year requirements for the entitlements. So, if you use the 2014 tax numbers (not sure why it takes them three years to take data off a computer and publish it, but it does) we need to raise 16.6% more than 1.375T every year. That translates to 228B a year additional.
And you want to load that all on the 1%? OK. The 1% paid 40% of that 1.375T already, but you want to jack them up another 228B a year? OK. So that brings their effective taxation rate, which was already at 27.16%, up to 38.6%, which means that you need to jack their marginal rate up to about…..57%, which I BELIEVE would be the highest rate in the world, even BEFORE you add in state and local taxes.
We’re now the highest tax nation in the world. And all you’ve done is fix the entitlements. You still don’t have universal health care.