Again with the Dean Baker (if you don't subscribe (RSS), you should)--SS
Robert Samuelson: "What Frustrates Constructive Debate is Muddled Pundit Opinion" | Beat the Press:
Samuelson's complaint about the size of spending on the elderly is also highly misleading. He complains:
"In fiscal 2012, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and civil service and military retirement cost $1.7 trillion, about half the budget."
That sounds really outrageous -- those damn old people. Samuelson case is considerably weakened by the fact that the vast majority of this money was paid into these programs through designated taxes. He might think it's fine to tax people for Social Security and Medicare and use the money for the military or to pay interest on Peter Peterson's government bonds, but the less educated public might not share this view.