Recent Degrowth Policies Will “Reduce Medicare and Social Security Tax Revenue by at Least $400 Billion”

(p. A13) President Biden released his 2024 budget request Thursday while continuing to accuse Republicans of scheming to cut benefits for seniors. But he’s got it backward. By advancing policies that hinder the economic growth that drives prosperity, Mr. Biden and his Democratic colleagues are the ones depriving Social Security and Medicare of the hundreds of billions of dollars those programs need to remain solvent.

. . .

My own research on the Biden agenda’s effect on Social Security and Medicare makes clear that low economic growth translates into smaller benefits for seniors. These programs give the elderly a share of the earnings of the nation’s current workers. The more people who work, and the more each worker earns, the more payroll tax revenue is available to fund Social Security and Medicare. I estimate that degrowth policies since 2020 will cumulatively reduce Medicare and Social Security tax revenue by at least $400 billion—and perhaps as much as $900 billion. The tax base will shrink even more if Mr. Biden succeeds in levying higher wealth and business taxes.

For the full commentary, see:

Casey B. Mulligan. “Biden’s Assault on Social Security.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, March 10, 2023): A13.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date March 9, 2023, and has the title “Biden’s Budget Is an Assault on Social Security.”)

A somewhat more detailed version of Mulligan’s argument can be found in:

Mulligan, Casey B. “Payroll Tax Revenues Down $400 to $900 Billion Due to Lower Wages and Less Growth.” Washington, D.C.: Committee to Unleash Prosperity, March 2023.

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