Taxpayers Tab: NTUF Panel Tackles Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Reform

Vol. 2 Issue 5, February 18, 2011

NTUF Panel Tackles Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Reform

Last week, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation brought together five distinguished experts to discuss practical solutions to reforming America's major entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The following points are just a few reforms covered by the panel.

CPAC Entitlement Panel Group Pic

(Left to Right) Dan Mitchell, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Pete Sepp, Devin Nunes, and Maya MacGuineas discuss needed reforms

  • Defined Long-Term Social Security Planning: While legislation such as Congressman Paul Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future" provides specific long-term reforms, panelists expressed conern that more immediate actions need to be taken to maintain the solvency of entitlement programs. In addition to the "Roadmap," lawmakers and experts need to consider incorporating other ideas to find viable, bipartisan solutions.
  • "Voucher-ize" Medicare: Instead of a large government program, the elderly and disabled could receive a voucher that would help offset some of their health care costs. Freeing Medicare from various regulatory restrictions and burdens could help drive down costs via market forces.
  • Remake Medicaid into a block grant program: Give governors the flexibility to innovate and spend funds on health care without the associated costs of a large federal bureaucracy. Reforms could improve care quality and efficiency.
  • Pension Transparency: To help address a coming $1 trillion in pension costs for state and local governments, transparency is key to addressing the problem. A bill introduced in the House would establish a web site to show the assets and liabilities of all public pensions.
  • Full Budget Authority: Perhaps the most fundamental reform would be doing away with "untouchable" mandatory spending programs. All public spending should be reviewable by Congress to better balance the needs of the people with the federal ledger.

WSJ Senior Economics Writer Steve Moore

Steve Moore opens NTUF's entitlement reform event

Be sure to check out all of the presentations at our YouTube channel.

NTUF Analyses the Budget

Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady has been hard at work since Monday's release of the President's FY 2012 Budget. Here are a few facts he has found so far:

  • Revenues: Expected to jump by 21 percent in FY 2011, 14 percent in FY 2012, and 11 percent in FY 2013.
  • Spending: Increase by 10.5 percent ($3.819 trillion) in FY 2011, fall by 2.4 percent in FY 2012, and rise by 1.1 percent in FY 2013
  • GDP: Projected federal outlays consume more than 22 percent for at least ten years
  • Budget Reductions: 153 programs would either be terminated or reduced in spending, totaling $5.7 billion
  • Hidden Spending: Refundable tax credits would trigger $115.3 billion in new spending over ten years
  • Federal Payrolls: After excluding temporary Census workers jobs, federal employment will jump 4.96 percent by FY 2012

Be sure to check out all the latest budget figures and NTUF research here!

NTUF is able to initiate conversations on important fiscal topics, such as entitlement reform, and produce timely analysis on the President's budget and other important issues because of the contributions that we receive from generous supporters. With your help, NTUF can continue to help all citizens understand how government tax policies, spending programs, and regulations affect them now and in the future. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

We Want You!

NTUF is looking for late spring and summer associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit and a stipend are possible. Email questions to To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!

About NTUF

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.