Here are five facts that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner offered in a speech in New York Tuesday (May 17 2011) as “context for the [fiscal] choices we must make now to preserve room for important investments in our future.”
- In the U.S. today , 40% of children born each year are covered by Medicaid. If you are born today in hard-pressed communities in many American cities, like St. Louis or Baltimore, you are more likely to die before your first birthday than if you were born in Sri Lanka or Belarus.
- In education, we’re losing ground…. In Los Angeles, only about half the kids graduate from high school.
- Over the next 25 years, the number of Americans eligible for Medicare and Social Security will nearly double, while the number of working age Americans will only increase by about 10%, putting substantial new burdens on working Americans.
- We spend $700 billion a year on national security… about two-thirds of what we spent as a share of our economy during the Cold War.
- The effective income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans—those earning more than $250,000 a year—is at its lowest level in 50 years. And the effective rate for the very rich—those earning over $10 million per year— has declined much further and is now around 21%.
Of course the only proper solution is to increase the taxes on the poor and lower the taxes on the comfortable.