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Fastspinecho
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Another possibility is to raise taxes. I'm not sure why Posner seems to have ruled this out. It is certainly not harder, politically, than altering entitlement programs. Some may raise concerns that increased taxes would significantly distort the economy, but I doubt that would be true. Social Security is a transfer payment, so it should make little overall difference to the economy whether the budget is balanced by decreasing the consumption of workers (i.e. raising taxes) or decreasing the consumption of retirees (i.e. cutting benefits). Likewise, shifting health care expenses to the "comfortable" elderly from taxpayers is unlikely to change their pattern of health care consumption - and if it did, then the decision would warrant even more scrutiny.
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Dec 18, 2013