In a shocking turn of events that will come as a surprise to no one, government trustees this week reported that Social Security and Medicare are running out of money.
Social Security is expected to bankrupt in 2033 and Medicare funds run dry in just 12 years.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Congress and all U.S. politicians to start having a serious and honest discussion about the massive retirement and disability programs. The key word here is “honest.”
From time to time, politicians offer timid cuts or changes to the programs. And they’re met with insane brush back that suggests the proposals are the equivalent of pushing grandma off a cliff in her wheelchair. That hyperbole needs to stop. Changes now can’t be equated to that, but waiting until the money runs out most certainly will be the equivalent of pushing the entire American economy off a cliff and into a volcano.
Voters need to hold accountable any politician who says their opponents who advocate for changes to the entitlement programs are trying to throw grandpa under the bus. We are at a critical point in which we can no longer kick the proverbial entitlement can further down the road. It’s an ugly, ugly place at the end of that road.
As we start to discuss dramatic changes to Social Security and Medicare, there will be anger as people start to recognize the perilous position our politicians have put us in. Seniors, or those who will be in about the 2020s, have every right to be mad. They are likely to pay into Social Security for their entire lives and never see a dime. Seniors today should be enraged, because back when they first started putting money into Social Security, they were told it was a trust fund, in which the money would be saved for their retirement.
Those were all lies. The primary thing in the Social Security trust fund isn’t investments, gold or cold, hard cash. Instead, it’s a virtually empty bank vault filled with I.O.Us.
We shouldn’t make the mistake in believing the answer to solving this problem is sending more money to politicians to divvy out to seniors.
They can’t be trusted with our money, and at this point, they can’t be trusted with our future either.