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Debates

Grandma's Benefits Imperil Junior's Future

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  • Mort Zuckerman on Entitlements

    Clip: Mort Zuckerman argues for the motion “Grandma's Benefits Imperil Junior's Future.”

  • Howard Dean on Entitlements

    Clip: Howard Dean argues against the motion “Grandma's Benefits Imperil Junior's Future.”

Debate Details

Commitments made to seniors decades ago failed to foresee the harsh economic realities of the present. Do entitlements saddle our children with unmanageable debt, asking them to sacrifice their future for the sake of the elderly? Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were created to provide a social safety net. But if we cut these programs, are we balancing the budget on the backs of the aged and sick, leaving behind society’s most vulnerable?

The Debaters

For the motion

Margaret Hoover

Fox News Commentator and Author, American Individualism

Margaret Hoover is a Fox News Contributor and the author of the book American Individualism: How A New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican... Read More

Mort Zuckerman

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News & World Report

Mort Zuckerman is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News & World Report and Publisher of the New York Daily News. He is also the co-founder... Read More

Against the motion

Howard Dean

Former DNC Chairman & Governor of Vermont

Gov. Howard Dean is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, presidential candidate, six term governor, and physician. During his tenure... Read More

Jeff Madrick

Leading Economic Analyst and Editor of Challenge Magazine

A former economics columnist for The New York Times, and current Editor of Challenge Magazine, Jeff Madrick is a regular contributor to The New York... Read More

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The Research

The Research

Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits

Pew Research Center
July 7, 2011

The public’s desire for fundamental change does not mean it supports reductions in the benefits provided by Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Relatively few are willing to see benefit cuts as part of the solution, regardless of whether the problem being addressed is the federal budget deficit, state budget shortfalls or the financial viability of the entitlement programs.

Austerity: The False Cure

Greg Anrig
November 3, 2010

The blame for the federal government’s fiscal condition is routinely assigned to “entitlements”—the nation’s three major social-insurance programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But that accusation is misleading on several levels.

Generational Balance, Not Budget Balance

Laurence Kotlikoff
August 2, 2011

If we keep raising successive generations’ lifetime net tax rates, we will eventually be hitting up our progeny for every penny they earn.

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