JerseyGirl,Please check your facts. Per the Heritage
Foundation's data (hardly a group of liberals) tax revenues exceed
entitlement spending.Yes, the trend is that entitlements will
eventually take over all of our tax revenues, but that will not be until
2045.Does this mean we don't have a problem? No. And I
reiterate that we need to act now rather than later. But we need to start with
the facts as they are.
This comment section is filled with a colossal amount of economic ignorance.1. It is mathematically impossible to balance the budget without cutting
entitlement programs. The amount of money we spend on Social Security, Medicare,
and Medicaid is greater than the amount of money we take in in tax revenue. Cut
the defense budget and incorporate welfare and every other function of
government to zero, and you will still have a deficit if you don't address
these programs.2. Saying "Social Security/Medicare isn't an
entitlement, because I paid for it" is a very nice sentiment. It's also
completely irrelevant. The money isn't sitting in a big trust fund;
it's all been spent already. In the case of Medicare, it's being
subsidized by general tax revenue, because it isn't gathering enough money
to pay its bills.And then we get the requisite Republican bashing,
which contributes to the overall paralysis of government and the inability of
anyone of either party to actually fix this problem. Stop demonizing, start
Hammer said: "Also why don't we drug test and refuse benefits to drug
addicts"Easy to check on, see how that worked out for Florida
when the conservatives there thought the same it cost them millions to catch
just a handful. Guess being poor and needing assistance doesn't mean you
have a lot of money for drugs.Thanks for the Rush Limbaugh Motto to
"let them eat cake"
I agree wholeheartedly with the basic premise of this editorial – that an
improving economy tends to mask the urgency to reasonably and proactively
address Social Security and Medicare sustainability, and that that is no excuse
not to do so anyway. Sadly, political posturing, brinksmanship, and election
cycle (short-term) thinking are the “currency of the realm” inside
the Beltway, which means that the odds of Congress and the Administration
actually addressing this reasonably and proactively are virtually nil. It would
certainly be preferable to make moderate, strategic adjustments to the fiscal
trajectory of Social Security and Medicare, and then repeat the process
periodically, than it would be to make draconian changes at the 11th hour (or
later) out of necessity, but that's where we are headed.By the
way, this same approach should be applied to defense spending, though the
likelihood of that actually happening are about the same as for entitlements, or
The only reason entitlements are a possible problem is the demographic bubble
that is the baby boom generation. And that will not last forever.Also this impact can be mitigated by bringing sufficient numbers of young
people into the country which is why immigration reform is a positive.Lets not rip up the social contract because of a temporary problem that is
easy enough to fix.
Entitlements?Great!Lets cut the handouts to the rich,
cut the oil subsidies, raise taxes on those making $250k+, cut defense spending
in half, cut all foreign aid, and shut down half our military bases. It's funny how entitlements to the rich and military are "vital
necessities" but "entitlements" to the poor and sick are... Well...
It seems like the old ruse “the sky is falling” never wears out.The only way these wild prophecies will come about is if the Tea Party
succeeds in taking over our government. But given that the American people will
wake up in time to prevent that, America will adjust and resolve the problems of
the American people.
Social Security isn't an "Entitlement" it is something I paid for.
Medicare isn't an "Entitlement" it is something I paid for. If you
want to look at "Entitlements" then perhaps you should look at tax
policies and giveaways that have the middle class working people of this nation
giving Welfare to the rich, entitled gentry. It is time for us to stop paying
for the rich to build 4 mansions, to support their private jets and yachts; it
is time for us to revoke tax exempt status for political organizations that
masquerade as "social welfare" organizations. No, it isn't time to
reduce "Entitlements"; it is time to address our tax system that
encourages tax avoidance by those most able to afford to pay taxes. Mitt Romney,
Charles Koch, and those like them don't need anymore welfare, they need to
stop cheating the citizens of our country and pay their fair share.
Social Security is not sustainable and its a dinosaur in the room of helping
people. People with disability are easily able to abuse the work rules and you
will soon be hearing about the amount of people convicted of fraud within the
program because, SSA is doing work reviews on all the claimants in the system
and they are finding a lot of people who worked and made upwards of $50000 a
year and were receiving disability benefits. Also everyone who had defined
benefit plans are getting rid of them even the states. Why can't we parse
out accounts to people which they contribute to. If they don't work they
can only get ssi and they can only get out what they put in. Also why don't
we drug test and refuse benefits to drug addicts who refuse to check themselves
into drug programs. Our social security system is a DINOSAUR, and at its
current rate it will not be able to pay out promised benefits in 15 years!
Government services are what you get. Entitlements are what everyone else gets.
As others have said, our medical costs are the highest of any industrialized
nation. So is our defense spending. Social security costs are not out of line
and are manageable.
Why not start by reducing corporate welfare first, instead of going after the
relative pittance those on the bottom receive merely to subsist (from taxes they
paid into already, like Social Security, which, incidentally, the rich also now
want to steal via privatized accounts)? The many trillions of dollars spent on
bailouts and stimulus for Wall Street only serve to enrich the 1%, while the
masses are still scrambling to subsist after the near world-wide financial
collapse the 1% caused -- and now we want to yank away what semblance of a
safety net is left for the 99%? If things are really so dire, why not raise
taxes on the 1% who can afford to pay more than ever before, based on the
unprecedented amount of wealth they have amassed (often though corrupt means)?
Unbelievable.The fact is that since 2007 the 1% have been taking 93%
of the profits, while many of the 99% have seen their lives get far more
difficult -- and now we want to dissemble any program that helps balance things
out for the 99%? The priorities of this nation on behalf of the 1% only are
baffling, to say the least.
Nothing is going to get done. Congress is broken. Social Security?
Do what Reagan did and lift the income cap.Medicare? Obamacare is
helping. Another thing that could be done is to allow the govt to negotiate
drug prices under Medicare Part D--like it does for Veterans benefits.
First of all I disagree that Social Security should even be talked about in
crisis mode. It's very sustainable and changes to enhance it's
viability are easy if Republicans ever seriously want to solidify the program
instead of destroy it. From the thirty thousand foot level
here's the problem with reasonable alterations to Medicare and Medicaid
that include improvements to our entire medical system, it's the DN, who
has a decidedly right leaning bias describing Social Security and Medicare, as
unsustainable behemoths. First of all it's false, but secondly what do you
do to behemoths, you cut them down. You don't try and sustain them you
Our entitlement problems are almost entirely due to the fact that medical costs
in the U.S. are so far out of line with the rest of the developed world. Get our
medical costs down to the level of Germany, or France, or Japan, or Australia,
and there is no "crisis". Since all of those countries have healthier
populations than we do, it should not have any adverse effects on
American's health either.
SSi isn't an entitlement It's an insurance. That gets reformed every
year that does not keep up with the cost of living. Honor your mom and dad. your
going to get old if you don't die first. This is the first time in history
that parents are expected to live longer than their kids. I guess you don't
have to worry about entitlements that is an insurance that was barrow from on
the plan of no return.
Amen and amen.Like nearly everything, addressing these tough issues
now will result in less pain later. In truth, we should have done so years ago
but that is spilled milk.Delay here does not serve the people.
Unfortunately it may serve two classes of politicians. First, those who have no
stomach to handle the tough issues they were elected to. Second, those who hope
a crisis will serve their narrow political interests. On the liberal side, a
crisis serves someone to enter and "save" the program. On the
conservative side, it serves to show that the program was doomed to failure so
we should scrap it and start all over with something entirely different.Does any of this sound familiar? Sure. It's political speak for
"I am the only one who can help/lead you through this."What
we need is what we are in increasingly short supply of. Pragmatists. Folks who
can and will roll up their sleeves, sit down next to their political opponents
and do the business of the American People.Ideologues (on either
side) just can't bring themselves to do this. So they opt for letting the
train wreck itself (see above).
Title "Washington shouldn't use economy as excuse to avoid addressing
entitlements"Completely agree. We absolutely need entitlement
reform. But, we also need defense spending reform.What a perfect
opportunity for a completely reasonable compromise.Unfortunately,
the Dems will resist Entitlement Reform, the GOP will resist cutting defense
spending and both sides will blame the other as we continue on this
unsustainable path.And both sides will smugly claim victory.