Decades ago, for instance, we could afford to send millionaires pension checks and pay medical bills for even the wealthiest among us. Now, we can’t, so the dollars we have should be devoted to those who need them most.
The mortal enemies of Social Security and Medicare are those who, in contempt of the plain arithmetic, continue to mislead Americans that we should change nothing. Listening to them much longer will mean that these proud programs implode, and take the American economy with them. It will mean that coming generations are denied the jobs they need in their youth and the protection they deserve in their later years.
~ Mitch Daniels
Grouch: One of the less delusional moments in last night's SOTU address is this passage from Mitch Daniels' response. It at least recognizes we cannot afford the status quo to continue. Personally, I would prefer to see the slow death of Social Security and Medicaid, and the country return to a society that takes care of itself and its neighbors without laundering money through Washington to redistribute as bureaucrats see fit. Why should my kids be taxed to support my retirement when I should be paying for that retirement myself? The main fault I find with Daniels' statement is that it doesn't go far enough. It is a rare breed of politician who will decrease their power while doing what is right for the country. We have close to zero of these types in Washington at the moment. The government has perpetrated the Social Security deception on the American public for years convincing them they have a personal account and are saving for their own retirement when in reality their money went to pay for their parents' retirement. Demographics have finally brought us to the point where we must acknowledge the deception and begin to cut benefits whether through means testing or some other mechanism. The Daniels' proposal is a start, but doesn't go nearly far enough, and will surely be met by the usual objections: "I paid into the system and I deserve my benefits no matter what."