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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Bush Legacy: Deflation or Inflation? by Steve H. Hanke FROM The Cato Institute

"Since 2001, the Bush administration has entangled the United States in a war that is undefined in terms of its scope, scale and duration. It has also been interventionist in the domestic economy, overseeing what the U.S. Congressional Budget Office terms a "substantial increase in spending" which has put the economy "on an unsustainable path." Indeed, according to the CBO's baseline budget projections issued in September 2008, the federal debt held by the public will grow to $7.9 trillion (in 2008 dollars) over the next decade, a 46% increase over this year's $5.4 trillion estimate. And that's only the tip of what could be a huge debt iceberg. The trustees of the Social Security System estimate that the present value of the system's unfunded liabilities is $13.6 trillion. A similar present value calculation by the trustees of the Medicare System results in a whopping $85.6 trillion estimate. To put these numbers into perspective, keep in mind that last year the United States generated a GDP of $13.8 trillion."

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