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The Coming Entitlement Crisis

In February of last year, conservative commentator  George Will gave a great lecture at the Navy War College in Rhode Island.  In that lecture, he detailed two major battles we will face in the coming election, which are taxes and entitlement reform. Despite what the liberal media says about conservatives, we are not trying to destroy Medicare. We are trying to salvage it.  It’s the same for Social Security.  The math simply doesn’t work anymore.  People are living longer through the advancements in medicine. This is a good thing, but it is also incredibly expensive.

When Social Security was instituted, the average length of time from retirement to death was two years.   That is no longer true.  The fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is the very elderly who are people aged 85 or older.  Furthermore, baby-boomers are retiring in droves at a rate of 10,000 a day, every day for the next two decades. This is causing unbearable tension on the already stressed Medicare and Social Security payrolls.

By 2025, there will be a paltry two workers per retiree versus the fourteen workers per retiree in 1950. 

The retirement age will have to go up and keep going up in increments to ensure solvency.  We will have to discuss the possibility of creating private retirement accounts to decrease the burden on the system.  The introduction of choice and subsequent competition are usually effective in reducing costs.  The Heritage Foundation has also released policy prescriptions for Medicare that suggests, amongst many things, raising the eligibility age to sixty-eight.  The premium support that is outlined in Congressman Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity is essential.  It injects choice, personal responsibility, and fiscal discipline into a rigid system that incentivizes waste.  In short, recipients receive a voucher to buy a plan that fits their critical needs.  It is not a wasteful one size fits all approach. With this, Americans have more of a stake in how their money is spent on their insurance and reestablishes discipline and responsibility. This is not an alien concept.  During the Kennedy Administration, the average recipient paid forty-seven cents for every dollar of Medicare spending.  Medicare, of all entitlements, is the one that needs priority attention since it carries  $37 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, which will fiscally destroy us if it is not dealt with soon.

Now, Grandma and Grandpa will fight hard to keep their welfare state intact.  They vote more often than the younger generation and will oust any politician who seeks to make these critical changes.  Democrats will try to co-opt seniors, since admitting Medicare as an insolvent program invalidates their liberal ideology, and paint Republicans as heartless. However, the “gravy train” is over.  It may have been great for our parents’ parents, but it has become a gross transfer of wealth from the young to the elderly, which in the end leaves almost nothing for succeeding generations.

In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stated that Social Security is solvent for only another 20 years.   After which, full benefits payouts to recipients will not be possible.  Moreover, the Trustees Report also included the insolvency of Medicare that will be unable to cover seniors’ hospital bills by 2024, which is three years earlier than what was projected last year.

George Will asks, succinctly, how much wealth are we willing to spend subsidizing the last twenty-five years of American life.  That is a tough question, but with new fiscally disciplined and conservative Republicans in the House, under the leadership of Congressman Ryan, we have a solution.  We are still waiting on President Obama’s proposals to seriously deal with this fiscal disaster.  So far, none have materialized.  In the meantime,  America’s young and vibrant workers are at risk of becoming trapped in a gerontocracy.

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  1. WillofLa says:

    Throw out all the politician’s who have raped the Social Security fund, kill off all the programs and excess benefits that are paid to people who don’t deserve to be on benefits, find all the people who are cheating the system, and deport all the Mexican’s who aren’t supposed to be here and get them off the system and all of a sudden we’d see billions of dollars in surplus in the fund.

    Get rid of the politician’s. What that does is keep laws that pay out benefits to people who aren’t supposed to be getting them, and kill off all the programs these corrupt politician’s have created that are spending billions of dollars out of the system, like it used to be then you’d be saving billions more dollars from going out of the system. Then there would be all kinds of money left in the fund and we wouldn’t need any kinds of strange and twisted figuring how to make a dollar go in a hundred different directions at once, we’d have hundreds of dollars to go in only one or two directions. That’s the way it was meant to be, a surplus, not a deficet.

  2. WillofLa says:

    “Gerontocracy”. I like that word. I’ve never heard of that word, but that’s what we have now to try to keep up taking care of all the old people. I don’t think any other country in the world works harder on trying to come up with somekind of program to take care of all the old people in this country like America does.

    But I’ll tell you a tougher question, or rather a program that would save Social Security more than Ryan’s or anyone else’s plan and that is to fix how the system works, I mean how it functions mechanically. What does the computer program look for when the case worker puts in the person’s name and number? You do realize that the computer program is not set up to look for a name only to find you. That’s how Blacks have learned to game the system and have two and three Social Security numbers that pay them $2,000 to $4,000 a month in benefits. Ever seen those Lexus SUV’s parked out front of WalMart in the handicapped zone? How do you think a so-called “poor Black” can afford something most White people can’t? They cheat all of us out of billions and billions of dollars along with illegal Mexican aliens who get on SSI and Disability in a snap. Plus many other benefits that come out of Social Security.

    I’m on Disability. I earned the right to be on it. I worked myself so hard to try to do two things, 1) keep from getting laid off, and 2)keep a roof over my head and my family fed and safe. I worked seven days a week for so long the company MADE me take a couple of days off. One time I worked 72 days straight without a day off. I didn’t care, it kept me working and not be considered for layoff, and it kept us from loosing our home which I almost did twice!! That’s when it got to the point where I couldn’t feel my hands or feet and my neck and back was hurting me so bad I was taking two muscle relaxers, two Ibuprophen, and three aspirin just to be able to go to sleep at night, every night.
    When the company finally sent me to the company doctor to find out what was wrong with me, the more they looked the more they found. They said “You can forget going back to work.” And that was in Dec. of 1992, I was 42 years old and burned out to a frazzle. My nervous system was so shot they almost just gave me Disability. Of course I’m kidding, I had to wait 20 months for the stupid government to get through playing games with me before they finally paid off. Before that I had to go through 18 months fighting with Workman’s Comp., then they finally paid off.

    But all the people on Social Security who don’t belong on it, who’ve cheated to get on benefits, the people who our Socialist leftist Democrat traitors who have seen to it to be so generous with somebody elses money they have given away the whole damn farm to keep those people voting for them. And they continue to do that somemore with every illegal Mexican who comes into our country to get free money hand health care.

    If we cut all those people off by revamping the computer system to look for something else other than what it looks for now, in order to make sure the people are who they say they are and are qualified to draw benefits we would be saving hundreds of billions of dollars. Sure the pay out is big to all the people who are elderly, but see when there is no money left it won’t be because the old people weren’t paying their fair share into the system. It’s all the people who are cheating the system who have drained it of all the surplus that should be there. Get that money back by not having it come out to begin with and we’ll be able to pay the bills far into the future without having people retire one hour before they are thrown into the grave!!