Some honest thinking about long-term deficits

Substantive posting is probably going to remain thin for awhile.

I wanted to save this link to this short interview with Rudolph Penner, former director of the Congressional Budget Office under President Reagan about a new report that appears to look sincerely at budget options going forward.  (Hat tip to Ezra Klein)

The situation does look pretty grim in the long run.  It is bizarre to think we were worrying about budget surpluses less than a decade ago.  This makes me wonder: how would truly effective health care reform coupled with faster-than-expected economic growth change things?  Not that I'm especially optimistic about either of these things happening.  But I'm curious to know how sensitive the projections are to assumptions about growth in health care costs and economic growth more broadly.  The true budget picture going forward must be a highly uncertain one, something that does not come across in the interview [or, after a quick skim, in the report itself].


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