Skip to comments.Congress in no rush to fix Medicare and Social Security (A Moving Target or Moving Congress?)
Posted on 03/26/2008 1:49:50 PM PDT by K-oneTexas
[Snip] A new report projects a $42.9 trillion shortfall for the two entitlement programs over the next 75 years. [Snip]
[Snip] The latest annual report on the prospects for Social Security and Medicare projects a $42.9 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years, at current levels of benefits and taxation.
The message Congress is taking away from the report is that there's still time to build bipartisan consensus for reform. [Snip]
[Snip] But the shortfall for Medicare comes sooner and is even more severe. While Medicare's annual costs were 3.2 percent of GDP in 2007, they are on track to surpass Social Security expenditures in 2028 and reach 10.8 percent of GDP in 2082.
To put it another way: It would take an immediate 122 percent increase in the payroll tax (to 6.44 percent) or a 51 percent reduction in program outlays to bring Medicare into balance, the trustees said. [Snip]
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Well, it’s pretty obvious what will happen. After all these years of paying exorbitant tax rates to keep the old geezers who support the AARP happy, the retiring Boomers and the generations after them are going to get the shaft. These Ponzi schemes are coming to a screeching halt. If a private company had set up this stuff, the founders would all be toted off to jail.
It’s easy to solve the SS and Medicare crises, and this is how they’ll do it. Just raise the age of eligibility for benefits to 106! Dont bother to thank me.
I volunteer to be removed from both programs so that they do not need to care for me. I’ll put my premiums elsewhere along with my withdrawals.
Aw hell, they don’t want to fix them, they want to find a way to take SS & MC away from anyone who has saved for their retirements and doesn’t need them.
Ditto!!! I'd even be willing to GIVE UP everything I've paid in if they won't take anymore!
As long as these programs chug along at or near bankruptcy the Congress maintains a state of semi-emergency and can justify new legislation.
It is as if a ship were taking on water but the crew keeps it afloat so the passengers will stay on board, but they also don't let it go completely under lest everyone abandon the ship.
The Cuban government (and others) have used a similar technique to keep the people distracted by using the U.S. as the Boogie Man that thwarted the glorious plans of the State.
Keep everyone alarmed or distracted and they will never suspect that there is a better way. Also as a bonus the congress justifies their existence as long as there is a crisis to attend to.
I’ll back the “do nothing option”. In 2041 I’ll be 84, and given my genetics, that should be about it.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
I agree with you but, unfortunately, the Congress will never let that happen.
Every few years the congress will get up on their hind legs and put up some temporary fix that will keep it hobbling along for some time. It keeps them employed and the people worried.
I used to say in high school (1969 to 1972) that the US was like the proverbial farmer with his hand cought in a combine. He has no choice but to either cut off his arm with his pocket knife or his whole body gets dragged in.
And nobody in american politics (least of all the voters) has the political will to cut off the arm. It is not a matter if IF we go into the combine. It is a matter of when.
I’m beginning to think it will be sooner rather than later.
Actually, when SS was conceived, the average lifespan was lower than the age at which the benefits kicked in. I think that paradigm should continue. The age of eligibility should be two years higher than the average lifespan.
Have we not already crossed the 50% threshold for net-drain voters? How exactly do we turn this around? The thing with government dependency is that it has a positive-feedback mechanism - one hand begets two, and so on. If we are now at the point where the voters are capable of voting themselves pay increases (10 wolves and 9 sheep voting for dinner), WTF can be done, aside from waiting out the inevitable crash?
They will let both of these become total disasters, then they, with the help of a compliant press, will suddenly become obsessed over the problems and propose and pass completely socialistic solutions.
You can’t win, and you can’t quit.
The only other option is you lose.
Congress is to busy working hard every day to keep thier dismal approval rating on track. Fix medicare and social security? They havent a clue! Most can’t even balance thier personel check books let alone solve a problem they have been utilizing for the past several decades to feed thier own ambitions. These are the people who also want to create the next mismanaged black hole NATIONAL HEALTHCARE!
Sheep shooting wolves in to avoid becoming dinner?
This post (<-click), while addressing a tax-related thread, explains in more detail why federal politicians are in contempt of the Constitution where Social Security and Medicare are concerned, foolishly following in the footsteps of FDR's dirty federal spending politics.
In fact, note that when Jefferson reflected on the Founder's division of federal and state powers he gave the example that the Founders had trusted the states, not the federal government, with the care of the people.
"Our citizens have wisely formed themselves into one nation as to others and several States as among themselves. To the united nation belong our external and mutual relations; to each State, severally, the care of our persons, (emphasized by Amendment10) our property, our reputation and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson: To Rhode Island Assembly, 1801. ME 10:262 http://tinyurl.com/onx4jNote that the states can always exercise their Article V power to amend the Constitution to officially authorized the feds to manage spending programs like SS and Medicare. Until the states decide to do so, however, such issues remain state power issues.
The bottom line with respect to Social Security and Medicare is that people need to wise up to the major problem that the federal government is not operating within the restraints of the federal Constitution, a consequence of FDR's dirty politics. The people need to petition big shot politicians who are not upholding their oaths to defend the Constitution, demanding that they resign from their jobs.
That 6.44 percent is both the employer and employee part of the Medicare portion of the payroll tax.
However, like past increases in payroll taxes, the folks in Washington will probably spend the extra money and then claim that the system is "broken" again as an excuse to jack the tax rates yet again.
That’s exactly it. Well stated.
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