Health care in general and Medicare and the Rx drug benefit in particular constitute the asteroid that threatens our financial extinction. Social Security was technically in surplus — taking in more in taxes than its outgo in benefits — until the recent economic unpleasantness. Social Security might attain surpluses again if the economy gets back on track. But future taxpayers will have to redeem IOUs (where Social Security surpluses were invested) AND shoulder health-care spending that is roughly twice the per-person level of peers in advanced economies.
Federal spending and budget deficits were among the topics today that Weekday host Steve Scher and I discussed on KUOW‘s morning talk show. We also touched on the proxy fight at Fisher Communications and the opposition of the Sierra Club and other greens to a multi-million dollar investment at Nippon’s Port Angeles pulp/paper mill that might help save 200 well-paid union jobs. Weekday was pre-empted at about the 50 minute mark by President Obama’s speech. That’s why there is no mp3 of this show on Weekday’s web site. I hope to have an audio file of the show within a week, and will make it available when/if I get my hands on it.