April 17, 2012 1 Comment
Love what Kevin Drum does in this post. It’s a dead horse, but it’s a damn good horse. First: government spending as percent of GDP over time. Second, government spending minus healthcare spending, over time:
But what the bottom chart shows us is that government expenditures in general haven’t been on an inexorable upward path over the past three decades, and there’s no special reason to think they’ll rise inexorably in the future. Generally speaking, domestic spending, defense spending, and Social Security are on extremely sustainable paths.
What’s left is healthcare spending. That’s it.
So this is basically just another excuse to repeat something that I and others have said over and over: We don’t have a spending problem in America. We have a healthcare problem. The other three categories of government spending taken together will probably rise by a point or two over the next few decades, but that’s not a big deal. We need to pay normal, prudential attention to them, but nothing more.
Bottom line: no one serious should spend an awful lot of time talking about “the deficit” or about “government spending.” We should be talking about healthcare. Everything else is just a red herring.
Nothing for me to add to that. Just that I wish more people understood this fact. Hey, you: spread the word.