Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Armchair Obama™ - Entitlement Reform.

Lets face it, at some point in the future there won't be any social nets for the elderly. The question is exactly when this'll happen. Perhaps during my Mom's lifetime. Probably during mine. Definitely during my kids'. It's not an if, it's a when. The reason why is simple: providing financial assistance and medical benefits to people who no longer pay into the system means someone will eventually end up on the a$$ end of the pyramid. It's basic supply and demand.

Just in case you're unaware, here's what our current annual budget outlay looks like.


Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid account for more than 2/5ths of our country's annual expenditures. With people living longer thanks to advances in medicine, this will only become a bigger strain in the future. Of course, just because people are retired doesn't mean they don't still vote, so entitlements are considered the proverbial 3rd rail in American politics. Despite chest thumping from the Tea Party and lip service by President Obama, nobody's had the stones to tell grandma she'll need to get by on a few hundred less a month and buy her own heart medication. That would be the figurative career suicide. Nobody's that hardbody.

On the flipside, something's gotta be done. The question is what. Play Armchair Obama™ and go in on this issue below. Please note, this discussion shouldn't be about the deficit in general. We've already cooked that goose. Stick to entitlements and entitlements only.

Question: Without over analyzing other items (ie: defense) in the annual budget, what specifically needs to be done about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? Again, please do not dwell on other items. Stick to these entitlements only and tell me what changes need to be made for these programs to be sustained. Do these programs even need to be continued?

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