Now that the debt-ceiling debate is over, it's apparently time to focus on how much politicians should cut from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - at least that's what the New York Times and NPR would like us to believe. In a piece on Obama and the budget, the New York Times featured the opinion of a former senior adviser to Sen. McCain who wants to cut Social Security but (as Dean Baker pointed out in Beat the Press) not a single economist who will tell you the real problem with the economy: a lack of demand. NPR was a little more sneaky, explaining that the debt is actually $211 trillion, not $14 trillion! And it's Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid's fault! Before you panic, Dean debunks the methodology here.
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