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Kevin -

The most recent estimate I've seen is from Tom Donlan's column "The Annual Entitlement Lecture Medicare Elephantiasis," which ran in Barron's Mar. 31 issue.

If you have a Barron's online subscription click here:

Thanks for providing links to all those reports.

Last, this letter by First Pacific's Robert Rodriguez is required reading. Rodriguez, who has been named best stock and bond manager at various times during his career, says the Fed's socialization of risk will drive interest rates higher. I agree; at some later date we will pine for the "good old days" when the 10-year Treasury yielded 3.5%. The benchmark bond's 55-year average is 6.5%, or 300 basis points higher than current rates. The 10-year tells us the cost of money, and the higher the bond yield the more pressure this puts on stocks. If bond yields rise I expect, this will dampen enthusiasm for stocks (if it exists).

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