I came across this article from Yahoo! Finance, discussing the confirmation hearing of former Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to serve as President Trump’s Budget Director.
The article starts…
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid need significant changes to be preserved for future generations, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the White House budget office told Congress Tuesday.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s comments at his confirmation hearing stand in sharp contrast to Trump’s campaign pledges not to cut the programs.
When I first read this, the only thing that I was surprised about what the level of indignation in the 2nd paragraph.
And that is because if ANYONE has been paying attention, they understand that both Social Security and Medicare are living on borrowed time. Depending upon the estimate you find, both programs are in the hole from $50,000,000,000,000 – $100,000,000,000,000 dollars. By the way, that’s 50 TRILLION to 100 TRILLION dollars in unfunded liabilities.
It is fundamentally impossible to shore up these programs with additional taxes alone. The quicker we come to that realization that better.
If you would like an explanation as to why this happened, check out the video on this page, “Why Social Security Is Going Broke…Just Explain It” published by Yahoo Finance.
Now, what does this mean for seniors today…
- Mulvaney, a South Carolina Republican, said he would not propose cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits for people already receiving them. “I’m not making my parents go back to work,” Mulvaney said.
- But, he added, younger workers should expect to work longer than their parents. He also said Medicare should be means-tested, which means benefits would be limited for wealthy retirees. They already pay higher premiums.
I agree with both points he made. While Mom passed away 2 years ago, Dad is struggling by on limited means and could not afford a cut. And from the emails I receive each day for help it is very apparent that for seniors throughout the country the majority are in that position.
As far as younger workers (meaning my generation) I understand that this will be a bitter pill to swallow, but if the changes need to be made then MAKE THEM NOW SO PEOPLE HAVE TIME TO PREPARE!!!
The added advantage to making changes now is that the sooner these changes are made the smaller the changes will need to be.
It should also be noted to give as impartial a view to this issue that Mulvaney’s statements as President Trump’s proposed budget chief contradict what then-candidate Trump said on the campaign trail. Repeatedly Trump said that he would not cut from either Social Security or Medicare.
And while it might be true for a Trump Administration, whether it lasts 4 or 8 years, the fact of the matter is that changes must be made to insure the survival of both programs. With 10,000 baby boomers turning into seniors every day and swelling the Social Security and Medicare rolls to the breaking point, the current system CANNOT survive in its present form.
I have written about this point on more than one occasion, and you can see some of the articles here. The premise of the articles is the same.
- The government made too many promises.
- There is no way that raising taxes can solve the problem by itself.
- At some point the changes must be made.
- The sooner the changes are made the smaller the impact those changes will have.
- And unfortunately, expect politicians to continue to “kick the can down the road” as long as they can so they don’t have to deal with an irate public.
For having the guts to say what needs to be said, I do give Mulvaney credit. But I doubt that enough politicians will be willing to come together in the current political climate to work through a combined effort to both raise taxes AND reduce benefits on future generations to keep these programs on solid financial footing until the situation becomes untenable.
As Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, said, “I think folks on Social Security and Medicare ought to be really worried. The alarm bells should be going off right now.”
But those alarm bells should have been going off two decades ago in Washington. But that would have required political courage on both sides of the aisle.