Spot The Unsustainable Entitlement

Tyler Durden's picture


In the words of Sesame Street, one of these spending components of the long-run budget plan is not like the others; one of these entitlements is not the same; can you spot which one? As BofAML notes, "no long-run budget plan would likely be effective if this rapidly growing program is not significantly constrained. This cost reflects growth in the economy, an aging population and an 'excess' growth factor that includes both medical advances and presumably inefficiencies."


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mjorden's picture

Would 'other' include Veteran's benefits and Veteran's disability?

Because Veterans Benefits aren't getting any cheaper ...  Medical Technology, they are living longer and costing more to take care of .... 


Not to mention, they are learning that they can collect disability after 10 years of service and retire early.  Go to a military town and see how many Nice Brand New trucks have the "DV" on the license plate!

docj's picture

Veterans are something like 1.2% of the population - even if you excluded/included them here it wouldn't "bend the curve" for Medicare one bit.

Nope - this is Ageing America drinking deeply from the font of "free healthcare".

GetZeeGold's picture



....and that's how you tie your shoes lil Linsay.


....and when that guy comes on the TV this is the finger you flip at him.


Pladizow's picture

The medicare line does not account for a large dose of hollow points!

Nothing To See Here's picture

And I would say that the social security line assumes an average return of about 8% on a typical allocation mixture of stocks and fixed income...

johnQpublic's picture



here is a quik video...about 4 minutes long including commentary on the true state of the situation

watch and learn

I am more equal than others's picture

Up! Up! and away..... says Superman.

smiler03's picture

Behold! A forecast upto 2082 and beyond!


It's all irrelevant. By 2082 we will all have personal jetpacks, flying cars, faster than light travel, death will be voluntary, electricity too cheap to meter and vacations on Mars.

What an absurd chart.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

And at a more fundamental level - this chart is based on percentage of GDP. What's their assumption for GDP growth going forward 50+ years - 3%? 5%?

MrPalladium's picture

I paid into the medicare fund for over 40 years and now what I paid for is to be taken away? I didn't screw up the program, yet I and others in my position are to be denied medical care?

Antifaschistische's picture

and not just a run of the mill Madoff ponzi, it's a COERCED participation ponzi scheme...

tonyw's picture

You didn't pay in for yourself, you paid in to cover the ongoing costs. You are reliant on the enxt generation doing the same.

It would help if the laws were not written for the benefit of large corporations so that health costs were around half, i.e. in line with other countries with good health systems.


greyghost's picture

where does the bottomless pit called the pentagon fit in this chart? does anyone else notice that the talk is always about social programs, never about the budget of the generals? even as a republican i am getting sick of all this nonstop chatter about medicare/soc. sec. trillions for defense...trillions for bankers....nothing for soc. sec. or medicare? yes, i know, neither of these two programs pays for themselves or were they just looted by bankers and generals? inquiring minds want to know?

and if romney is elected in nov. what is left for the bain model of business to loot?

GUNS or BUTTER anyone.

Vince Clortho's picture

Greyghost, you beat me to the punch.  +1

The largest Banks, Investment Firms, Corporations can go bankrupt but somehow receive funding to go back into business. Sovereign European Nations are going belly up, but somehow funding is "discovered" to save them.  We fight non-stop wars that run into untold trilliions $$$$$.  (Don't even bother to ask what the US is doing in Afghanistan, or what the plans are for Iran).  The US can support billions of $$ in aid programs to illegal aliens and foreign aid.

But it may be necessary to cut back on medicare and SS to sustain the above-mentioned programs.


tenpanhandle's picture

it's simply the "we have to close the parks, libraries and fire stations unles you pay more taxes scheme".  It's never the graft and waste that gets cut, it's the public services that the public actually sees and feels that get offered up to the chopping block.

fattail's picture

They are taking anything away.  You didn't pay in enough.  Average person takes out over 2X what they paid in.  Unsustainable.  Should have saved more money. 

ozzzo's picture

No, the average person does not take out over 2X what they put in. For the "average" to take out over 2X what they put in, there would have to be a small number who put in much more than they take out. That would be the rich people right? The rich people pay lots of taxes to support the rest of us? Is that what you're claiming?

In fact the "average" person, who in today's America is lower-middle-class or poor, pays significantly more into the system than what they take out. The "average" person pays over half his income in taxes. Don't only look at income tax. We are taxed to death. The average American pays over 100 taxes. Every time you buy or pay anything, besides personal cash or barter transactions, you are paying a tax. Sales tax, property tax, water tax, license "fees" (fees are taxes), fines (fines are taxes), etc. The system is designed to extract resources from the "average" person and funnel them to the "job creators" at the top, and that is what it does. Only a very small group gets out more than they put in; that is the purpose of the system.

natew's picture

Bzz...all incorrect.  For Medicare, the median income earner retiring today, will have paid about $30k to Medicare, and get that back in benefits within two to three years as Medicare cost average per benefitiary is $12K.  Just stroll over to wikipedia for details.   The NET benefits for lower income earners is $200K+.  Non-working spouse reaches $500K.  Even those making around $100K per year will get a net benefit surplus over $100K.   Now that's a serious out of control program.  And it's not including Medicare part d from general funds, thus borrowed from future generations to pay the interest.

The "average" person does not pay over half his income in taxes.  And totalling up all taxes (highly diverse by state) the lower incomes still pay lower taxes by %, although less progressive.  Take a look at any tax orgs data.  The distortion is all this is measured by %, not the individual or based on purchasing power.

..and you missed the greatest "secret" tax of all, inflation and artifitially low interest rates.  

DOT's picture

It's simple.

There is no "fund".

Your money has been spent on other things.

You have been lied to.

Doesn't you ass hurt?

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

" I didn't screw up the program, yet I and others in my position are to be denied medical care?"

Yet, your generation did vote in the policiticians who created this policy.  You most certainly do have responsibility for the legacy problems YOUR elected officials left us, just as those who voted for Obama have the responsibility for the long-term damage he has done (thankfully, some of that was one-time stimulus and some is fixable).  If your net worth was enhanced by the creation of the debt bubble, then you certainly benefitted already from the centrally planned bank ponzi cartel.  Now that it is time to take your medicine (or actually pay for it) you complain that you paid in and want your fair share.  Take responsibility, recognize that these issues didn't just magically show up, that they have been building since 1906 and 1913, got exponentially worse under FDR, and then became a feeding trough for every policitian since WW2.  Own the fact that your generation has continuously elected a bunch of crooks, while you reaped the benefits and pretended nothing was wrong.

If my generation does the same, and it appears that they are at least equally blind, then I'll be living in the Caribbean and laughing.  I certainly won't be standing around, selling my vote to the crook who claims he represents me best, hoping for the next handout, and complaining when my social security (which I have paid into) gets decreased, eliminated, or inflated away.

Rant over and I hope I didn't offend.

sskid's picture

Medicare was established in 1965, I was 10 years old at the time.   My parents seemed to have not much of an opinion about it, they would have been in their mid thirties, but my gandmother sure was excited about it.    It was all she talked about for months on our Sunday visits to grandma's house.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

My understanding was that LBJ had pretty much free reign to pass anything that year because the nation was still in mourning over JFK.

Sort of reminds me of the free-for-all giveaways of the Dems in 2008 when they swept the elections.  I'll never forget the look of manic joy on Pelosi's face.

wagthetails's picture

The Boomers - the worst generation. 

TriggerFinger's picture

are you the offspring of Jim Quinn?  

fattail's picture


You offended all the over 55 crowd who want to slam the entitlement door behind them before any entitlement reform takes place.  The Boomers new this problem was coming for decades but chose to ignore it because they thought they would be closer to death.  The Ponzi blewup before they could age out and die.  Now they want to whine about paying in. 

Side note....the average person does pull roughly twice the amount of benefits compared to what they pay in.  National Review article from this summer.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

That is pretty much my point.  They knew the math long ago yet did nothing about it.  My?  I'm outa here in the next two years.  I'll be called un-patriotic, which cracks me up.

jemlyn's picture

Stop blaming some generation for electing a bunch of crooks.  It's easy for you to say but most of the elections in the past have been just like this one, the two heads of one snake.  Ross Perot did give us an alternative.  Too bad more didn't pay heed to his prediction of "that giant sucking sound". 


francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

I'm pretty sure I didn't "blame" any generation.  I simply pointed out that that those who voted in elected officials who made promises that couldn't be kept have no basis to demand that the next generations honor those "promises".  Do I think today's politicians are any better?  Absolutely.  Today's politicians have taken the art form of lying and making unsustainable promises to brand new levels.  Our crooks are really good at what they do.

The difference between me and those who are older and demanding their "fair share of benefits they have paid into" is that I get the fact that I've been screwed and am planning on doing something about it.

I was young when Perot ran, and biased in his favor (as a Texan born lad), but don't recall his platform well enough to give an intelligent comment.

gckings19's picture

we'll give you your $1000 back and call it even.

ncdirtdigger's picture

My kids didn't sign up to pay for your healthcare old man. For years you had a chance to vote it out, but you sat your fat ass on the couch and thought it would all work out. Well tuff chit, life happens, shortly thereafter, death follows.

StychoKiller's picture

You fscked up, you TRUSTED THEM!

johnQpublic's picture

its the invisible line

but heres a vid link on how obamacare is intended to work

slaughterer's picture

Lots of disabled army servicemen living high-on-the-hog with their titanium knee replacement on the West Coast of Florida.  But, if you spend time with some of them, they will confess they are afraid of losing their vet benefits soon under new US austerity BS.  

AGuy's picture

Vets are really the only group that should get federal entitlements. They put there life on the line.

Abiotic Oil's picture

What happens when the entitlements stop?



We have seen them all before, and we shall see them all again as history rhymes along regardless of the century or the generation of humankind nominally in control of events. But the next time we are visited by widespread, large-scale urban riots, a dangerous new escalation may be triggered by a new vulnerability: It’s estimated that the average American home has less than two weeks of food on hand. In poor minority areas, it may be much less. What if a cascading economic crisis, even a temporary one, leads to millions of EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards flashing nothing but zeroes? Or if the government’s refusal to reimburse them causes supermarket chains to stop accepting them for payment? The government can order the supermarkets to honor the cards, but history’s verdict is clear: If suppliers are paid only with worthless scrip or blinking digits, the food will stop.


hedgeless_horseman's picture



"With this law, we bribe old folks for votes, using their children's money, for generations.  Genius!"

machineh's picture

There's ol' Hubert Humphrey in the back.

But who is the bloated Mr. Creosote at left, with the 'HELLO, I'm ...' nametag?

greyghost's picture

mr. creosote i believe is rep. miller who latter went on to have an affair with a hooker in one of the fountains in washington...very public! i believe it was a rep. miller...that was a galaxy far far away.

Urban Roman's picture

Actually Johnson knew he would be losing generations of votes for the Southern Fried Democrats. Not for medicare, but for some of his other programs.

There ain't no Great Society,

As it applies to you and me.

odatruf's picture

And the GOP raised the Great Society's voter graft with the 2005 Part D drug bribe. Of course, just one year after putting half a trillon dollars aside in the budget, these hoped-for grateful voters dumped the GOP in the 2006 Congressional rout.

Now, Obama has gone all in by turning more people into takers than givers, so we'll see how that works out come November.

Karlus's picture

"President Johnson, this is a big f**king deal!"

Heyoka Bianco's picture

And this is the very same crackerass Texas hillbilly who initiated the "unified" budget, so as to use SS "trust" funds to cover the the yawning abyssal deficits created by Vietnam, the Great Society, and the space program. Only Nixon did more damage to the US economy in the long term.

SeverinSlade's picture

Elmo likes insolvency, don't you?

Dr. Engali's picture

By 2082 I'll be dead. It's somebody elses problem then........seriously these people couldn't see the housing crisis right in front of their face. Do they expext us to believe they can extrapolate out to 2082?

Whatta's picture

Politicians can only extrapolate to the next voting day. Beyond that is irrelevant.

We need to throw politicians out of government and put in elected people to serve, and not rule.