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Social Security/Medicare - Facts Matter (Vol. 95)

The politicians are all arguing for the wrong thing

Who can shout the loudest: DON’T TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICARE! If only they would quit pandering to the public and explain the facts, maybe we could get to a real solution to a serious problem. What is the problem? Neither system is financially sound. I explained that in Facts, No Spin #89, Our Demographic Nightmare. I am writing about it again because of the political tumult about how it cannot be touched. NONSENSE. IT HAS TO BE TOUCHED OR IT WILL COLLAPSE. To keep it as is leads to outrageous federal deficits and eventually the Debt Bomb will explode and everything will collapse. Contrary to what the politicians seem to believe, the American Public is not stupid. Give us the facts and we will understand the problem and the need to fix it. Quit treating us like idiots, we are all grown up now. As Sargent Friday of Dragnet fame used to say, ‘Just the facts, ma'am. SOCIAL SECURITY: the demographics do not work anymore, the ratio of workers to retirees is 2.6 (and declining); there are just not enough folks pulling the wagon of retirees for the system to function. So it is time to quit the pandering and fix it. No, it isn't painless. But it doesn't mean cutting off benefits either. If it isn’t fixed, the law requires cutting benefits to match income, the estimates for this vary from 20 to 28% cuts. MEDICARE: this is 3 main parts. Part A is hospitalization, paid for by your medicare tax paid from your earnings, matched by your employer. A fund was accumulated in the past when more was paid in than paid out. The demographics have reversed this and now more is paid out than paid in. The fund will be exhausted in 4 years. Fix it or benefits must be cut by law when the fund is exhausted. Part B and D is medical and drugs. This is a voluntary program paid, partially, by user fees. However the fees only pay 26% of the costs and the taxpayers pay the rest, almost 400 billion loss in fiscal 2021. And the subsidy keeps rising. BOTTOM LINE Instead of shouting ‘Don’t touch Social Security and Medicare’, explain the facts to us, explain what needs to be done and propose logical solutions to fix these programs, and the majority of us will support this. Quit the pandering and demagoguery, and do your job, the public expects no less. LEARN ECONOMICS, THEN VOTE SMART

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