Budgeting for the (Very) Long Run

My eyes sort of glazed over this, but in Paul Ryan’s April Fool’s Budget he has a chart showing that if you give increasing numbers of old people less-and-less money over time you can keep spending flat even as grandpa’s illness go untreated. The savings thereby accrued are, by 2080, really enormous:

Josh Marshall comments:

This is the scoring the House Republicans have provided, tracking Democratic budget policy and theirs over the next 70 years. As you can see, predicting ideological stances over as yet unborn Democratic members of Congress, the GOP scoring appears to have us on track for the government owning about 90% of the economy in the early-mid-22nd second, which if I remember is about the time period of the invention of the warp drive. So I don’t know if they’ve figured that in too.

Fortunately, this is my area of expertise. Thus, we can say conclusively that Marshall has this wrong. According to the Gene Roddenberry Budget Office, Zephram Cochrane is projected to develop warp drive in the mid-21st century and the Phoenix will become the first manned human spacecraft to travel faster than the speed of light on April 5, 2063. Indeed, it’s probably no coincidence that this is about when Ryan stops doing Obama projections altogether because First Contact with the Vulcans creates a lot of hard-to-project immigration issues.


What does happen in the mid-to-late 22nd century is the rise of the New World Economy and the elimination of money from the Earth economy, presumably as part of the roughly-contemporaneous formation of the United Federation of Planets.