Deseret News
Letter to the editor

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs are drowning in red ink that will eventually sink us all. Our demographics will push us to a reckoning of bankruptcy, so why not act now when the solutions are quite simple?

I am nearly 70 years old, so I have skin in this game. I also have children who are struggling to support their families. Their futures will be harsh if we don’t find solutions now. On average, my peers and I receiving benefits from these programs are financially less needy than our children and grandchildren who are picking up the tab. There is no “lockbox” full of money to pay me and the other baby boomers. We paid it, but it was spent for our parents’ generation and is bleeding out as we stand in line awaiting our share.

30 comments on this story

Do we raise the FICA and Medicare tax rates that are already a burden on our children and a drag on our economy? The generation now supporting these programs is on average more able than those on the receiving end, yet there are many who do have need. All generations can win. I suggest that we bump up the eligibility ages and then “means test” the Social Security and Medicare programs, much as is already done with Medicaid. Benefits can also be trimmed. We baby boomers have not hatched enough offspring to keep this intergenerational fund transfer afloat, so let’s look reality squarely in the eye and join with the younger generations to solve the problem.

Failure to act will perpetuate a Ponzi scheme, with our children and grandchildren as the great losers. With action, the solutions are honest and relatively easy. If enough of us speak up, perhaps our leaders and AARP will listen.

Kerry Soelberg

West Jordan