CATO Offers Thoughts on Stabilizing Federal Debt…and They Involve Social Security -

In a post on, Cato Institute’s director of budget and entitlement policy, Romina Boccia, offers a set of benchmarks Congress should consider before finalizing a decision on the 2023 federal debt limit. As should be expected, her suggestions include this: “Establish a bipartisan commission to reform major entitlement programs, especially Social Security and Medicare, including fast‐​tracking the commissions’ recommendations in Congress.” Describing the federal debt as “economically damaging” and its growth rate “unsustainable,” Ms, Boccia challenges the 118th Congress to adopt a responsible, pro-growth fiscal policy that controls spending and stabilizes the debt.

Ms. Boccia’s post highlights projections for the publicly-held federal debt to reach 138 percent of GDP by 2032, an estimate that ironically lines up closely with the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of when the existing trust fund reserves held by Social Security will be completely exhausted. In discussing ways to curb future growth in federal debt, she puts part of the focus on Social Security and Medicare with this statement, “Effective policies will reform health care and old‐​age entitlements, the main drivers of rising debt.” One could argue with the semantics that equate debt with the earned benefit obligations resulting from the mechanics of these two programs, but the message is clear: Just like sustaining the economy, maintaining the promises associated with these senior programs requires reform…and perhaps some non-traditional thinking.

Check out Ms. Boccia’s post here…

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