Thursday, January 11, 2007

Amen, Brother, Amen!

On Viking Pundit, Eric cites an article by Robert Samuelson, chastising lawmakers for not dealing with Social Security.
As someone born in late 1945, I say this to the 76 million or so subsequent baby boomers and particularly to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, our generation's leading politicians: Shame on us. We are trying to rob our children and grandchildren, putting the country's future at risk in the process. On one of the great issues of our time, the social and economic costs of our retirement, we have adopted a policy of selfish silence.
I agree. Listen, my stance on this topic could cost me money, big time. I understand that I may be torpedoing my chances of retiring, maybe permanently.

So what? I would gladly sacrifice for my children and grandchildren.

Now, I need to be clear. I'm not suggesting that we toss Granny out in the streets. Those already retired should not suffer unduly. However, I think it's past time to get Social Security and Medicare costs under control. And, unfortunately, that may impact some seniors negatively.

First, stop - permanently - COLA increases. In fact, if the economy goes into DEflation, take back those already given.

Set a ceiling on costs. Figure out a maximum number, and don't raise it. By that, I mean, if you have income over a certain amount, you don't NEED a check every month. You'd probably like it, but you don't NEED it to survive. The same goes for assets - if you can't make it on your income, but live in an expensive house, own two cars and and RV, and take at least 1 vacation a year in an exotic location, you don't need money from Social Security.

Yeah. I'm in favor of means testing. And no transfers to children. Any transfers in the last 20 years before applying make that person ineligible.

Is this harsh? Yeah. But it beats having my kids and grandkids giving up a substantial part of their income to support people who could jolly well do it themselves.
In 2005, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (the main programs for the elderly) cost $1.034 trillion, twice the amount of defense spending and more than two-fifths of the total federal budget. These programs are projected to equal about three-quarters of the budget by 2030, if it remains constant as a share of national income.
Guys, that isn't chump change. Government shouldn't be holding a gun to the head of the young so he can give it to people whose only qualification to receive the money is that they are old. If the nay-sayers want to pony up 3/4 of their income to old folks, let them.

They just shouldn't force everyone to do the same.

No comments: