Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kotlikoff: With US ‘Broke,’ Entitlement Taxes Must Be Raised

February 13, 2013

Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the economy, and the payroll tax needs to be raised four percentage points to keep Social Security solvent, says Boston University economics professor and author Laurence Kotlikoff.

“The entire country is probably broke,” he tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview. “It’s in much worse long-term fiscal shape than any politician is revealing to the public. I’m not even sure they understand the truth. Certainly the president doesn’t sound like he understands.”

Social Security is 31 percent underfinanced, and Medicare “by itself can probably run the country broke,” Kotlikoff says.

“We need to do really radical things immediately and keep doing them pretty much forever,” he maintains. One of them is to raise the payroll tax for Social Security.

“When you run a Ponzi scheme for six decades and you don’t deal with the problems, you end up in this boat,” Kotlikoff says. If payroll taxes aren’t increased now, they’ll simply have to be hiked further for our children.

“Generationally this is a zero-sum game,” he says. “The president doesn’t seem to understand that.”

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