By Arnold Kling
The grand total from this list is $300 billion annually, roughly the deficit projected for 2006. Normal economic growth would therefore mean surpluses in the near future, should these cuts occur. To deal fully with the impending imbalances in Social Security and Medicare requires one more policy change, but it is again one Democratic economists should endorse: an increase in the normal eligibility year to 70 and then indexing of the retirement age to life expectancy.
Note that my list of cuts is consistent with Democratic views on redistribution; it does not cut a penny from programs for the poor.
Miron writes as if the main issue is between Democrats and Republicans. Instead, the issue is Inside vs. Outside the Beltway. It is inside the beltway that these spending cuts are “unthinkable” and “politically unpalatable.”
One quibble I have is that Miron’s proposals for cutting state spending on state universities should not be counted against the Federal deficit. A second quibble, as long as we are on the topic of state spending on higher education, is why not advocate vouchers for individuals instead of funding of institutions?