It seems that many people have been bothered by a Wall Street Journal column co-authored by Chris Cox and Bill Archer, the former Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. The column warns of an $86 trillion dollar deficit if we propoerly account for the liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and other government obligations. That's scary.

Fortunately, we have been around the block with this argument before. If we go to the CEPR's oldies section we find this 2003 classic on the $44 trillion deficit scare. The story's the same, even if the numbers have been changed somewhat.