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Collision Course: The Bush Budget and Social Security

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Abstract:

The Bush Administration's budget for fiscal year 2006 proposes the continuation of fiscal policies that undermine the federal government's ability to perform traditional, basic functions, including its capacity to make good on obligations to Social Security and Medicare. Current retirees, as well as workers currently over the age of 55, are in danger of benefit cuts in coming years, despite the president's assurances to those groups that their current benefits are safe.

This report examines the long-run budget picture as projected in the administration's latest budget documents, using their own short-term forecast for the sake of argument. These numbers show that the administration's budget policies make the problems worse, not better. In particular, the data show that protection of Social Security and Medicare benefits is impossible under Bush Administration policies, but feasible under an alternative budget framework.