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posted: 7/30/2011 3:00 AM

Math supports private sector

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Amid all the hoopla about raising the debt ceiling, an interesting fact has gone unnoticed. Medicare costs $500 billion dollars annually, and non-partisan experts agree that about 10 percent of this is waste/abuse/fraud.

This number is meaningless until you do some simple math: 10 percent of $500 billion is $50 billion. There are 300 million people in America, but only about half of them file federal tax returns, and only about half of them pay any federal income tax. This means that Medicare waste/abuse/fraud costs each of us remaining federal income tax payers over almost $700 annually.

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Remember that if the waste is 10 percent of the total, then simple multiplication would indicate that each filer/payer is contributing almost $7,000 annually for the Medicare program. The reality is that the federal government borrows about 40 percent of what it spends, so you can feel much better that Medicare only costs each of us $4,200 in cash annually. Loans (with interest) that our kids will be obligated to pay, will cover the rest. What is better for our society: to continue to elect the party of bigger/inefficient government and entitlements, or the party that understands that the source of funding for necessary temporary assistance is in a healthy private sector?

Keith Gray

Mettawa

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