exercises in compound storytelling

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Richard Fisher on entitlement programs

I'm finally getting back to Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, speaking to the Commonwealth Club of California:

No combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, though, will change the total burden borne by current and future generations. For the existing unfunded liabilities to be covered in the end, someone must pay $99.2 trillion more or receive $99.2 trillion less than they have been currently promised. This is a cold, hard fact.

His numbers are based on the “infinite horizon discounted value” of current unfunded liabilities. I'm tempted to try to put this number in the context of the current bailout, but frankly they're just not comparable.
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