Robert J. Samuelson: President should use bully pulpit to talk about the costs of aging

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  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 20, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    From the article, "[But] for how long will we continue to sacrifice investments in our nation's children and youth ... to spend more and more on the aged?"

    If we leave the system as it is, with annual increases in benefits 3-4 times the inflation level, it is truly those 0-50 who will take the hit, paying in and never getting a dime out.

    Like the housing and stock market of 2007, the programs for the aged are bloated and living in a bubble. The correction has to be made, either sensibly by careful choices, or by crash.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 19, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    Trust the government? Do any of you know what happened to the S.S. trust (no pun intended) fund? Hint: LBJ(D) confiscated it and wasted it on his failed "great society" program and left an "IOU" note. Trust the government? I trust the government to break its promises; Always have, always will! Don't believe it? Ask native Americans about how the government kept its promises! In God we should trust, not the government!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 19, 2013 5:37 a.m.

    "Liberals drive this process by treating Social Security and Medicare as sacrosanct."

    No... what people are getting tired of is they live their lives with an expectation that promises will be kept. My parents, who both paid into the system 40 and 50 years, that supported multiple previous generations, resent that the current generation feels no responsibility to do for them, what they did for others.

    Like this article says, yes, spending is winding down. What it fails to mention is that tax levels are also dramatically down. It mentions 1940 military spending, but doesn't mention what the federal income tax rate was at the time for the top income earners. You can't have an honest discussion about spending, unless you have an honest discussion about income. The two are linked.

    What I resent is that men, who already have their retirement secured, are now changing the rules on people like myself, who are only a few years away from eligibility. Trust that companies, governments, or individuals will keep their promises, is what is hanging by a thread. There is no longer loyalty by employers to their employees, and the reverse is now equally true.

    This is about trust.