Entitlement Rip-Off


Ran across this article from John Stossel  this week.

John Stossel : Entitlement Rip-Off

I’ve been thinking about this since the health care debate started.  There’s not much I can add to Stossel’s assessment of Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid except this; our leaders tell us that there is a big Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid meltdown ahead if we do nothing.  But, their answers, put more people into Medicaid; create a new federal insurance entitlement; etc., exacerbate the problem rather than fixing it.

Think of your own finances.  In your experience, have you ever been successful saving for the future  by spending more money on more stuff?  If you have, could you send me a note because I want to copy your plan.  There is only one solution to this mess, but NOBODY will acknowledge the elephant in the room, not even Republicans.  We have to unwind Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicaid, could be eliminated gracefully by looking to the health care industry and charitable organizations to create a private medical insurance system for the poor.  Americans donated millions of dollars to Haiti for earthquake relief, do we not believe that we will donate to a cause that will help people in their own country?  If we don’t support that program, then maybe the issue really isn’t as important to Americans as politicians would have you believe.

Social Security and Medicare are more difficult, but not impossible to unwind.  First we would need to determine a cut-off age for beneficiaries.  Let’s say that age is 40 years old.  Those 40 or under you will be on their own for retirement planning.  We will help by providing  serious tax free, safe investment vehicles for retirement savings.  Tax free medical savings plans will be improved as well.  Unfortunately, those 40 and younger will still have to pay FICA and Medicare taxes, but since they will not get benefits it will be a lower rate than those over 40.  Those over 40 will have a choice.  You can remain on the Social Security/Medicare plan and pay higher taxes or opt out and pay the lower rate of those 40 and under and have access to the private retirement options as well.

Finally, we will need to raise the retirement age to 75.  When Social Security started 65 was at the top of the American life expectancy graph.  Now the average life expectancy is 78.  That’s an average of 13 years of benefits.  Is it any wonder we can’t afford these programs any longer?  Perhaps we could allow benefits to start at 70 but at a much reduced amount.

I don’t really expect anyone to agree with this solution, but the numbers are clear.  These entitlements cannot continue in their current form without destroying our country.  It’s also clear our so called leaders only want to delay the pain until they are through running for office because none of them are making serious recommendations.  They want to delay the pain and sacrifice for future politicians and it seems they take their lead from us, because we have as little stomach for seriously addressing the issue as they do.  Do something tonight.  Look into the eyes of your children or grandchildren and think about the devastation our narcissistic baby boom generation is bringing down on their shoulders.

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About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

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