Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nanny State Addiction Drives Us Closer to Fiscal Disaster

The Associated Press story in the Omaha World-Herald about Social Security and Medicare was titled, "Benefits Train Wreck Looms." Maybe it's like the Omaha police and fire pension problem. Citizens, and thus politicians, don't care about it until the pain is upon them.

This year Medicare goes in the red. Payroll taxes won't cover Medicare expenses. Social Security reaches that tipping point in 2017.

Social Security looks OK on paper right now. The trust fund will be depleted in 2041. But the bonds that constitute the reserves of the trust fund are actually government IOUs because Social Security funds are used to fund other government spending.

The treasury secretary said: "Without change (to Social Security and Medicare), rising costs will drive government spending to unprecedented levels, consume nearly all projected federal revenues and threaten America's future retirees."

True enough. But then he said: "Our nation needs a bipartisan effort to strengthen both programs for future retirees."

No, no, no, Mr. Secretary. We must find a fair way to disengage from these programs and wean ourselves from this self-destructive addiction to unconditional welfare.


OmaSteak said...

How about setting the example and discontinuing any/all "welfare" programs under control of the Douglas county board??? Care of the old, poor, diabled and needy is not the proper business of government at any level. Government at all levels takes money by force or threat of force from those who earn it and give it to those that don't.

Anonymous said...

I'd be happy if we would just stop subsidizing the rich folk. In social security you generally have the poorest segment subsidizing the richest segment of society. And locally too. The Qwest Center - poor folk subsidizing the activity of rich folk.