Nobel Prize $ to Medicare

Today’s Wall Street Journal contained an opinion piece by Daniel Henninger: A Decadent Nobel. Many have noted the recent devaluation of a once-noble prize.

How much does Mr. Obama receive for the award? $1.4 million. He will “give it to charity.” One charity he could give it to is Medicare. It certainly is in trouble. It goes through piles of cash. Federal government health care programs cost $747 billion per year. So if Mr. Obama gave his award, it would last 58 seconds. (He’ll have to pay taxes on it first. That will take 30-40%. So his grant will last perhaps 38 seconds.)

Lest $747 billion per year seem a big number, the difference between future promised Medicare and Social Security benefits, and the money expected to come in to pay those benefits is staggering: $56.4 trillion. That’s a “debt” of $483,000 for each household. We had better teach our children to enjoy work. They’ll be working 16 hour days to cover promises our generations have made. Aren’t they lucky.