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Monday, May 2, 2016

An unsustainable path

Monday, May 23, 2011

Each year the Medicare and Social Security Trustees release annual reports conducted by nonpartisan actuaries at the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The reports estimate future financial obligations and revenues of the programs, including the value of each program's trust fund.

On May 13, the Medicare and Social Security Trustees released their 2011 report, and the news was troubling. For the sixth straight year, the trustees warned the programs are on an unsustainable, insolvent path, and without swift attention will leave future generations with broken promises.

Both Medicare and Social Security are running out of money more quickly than anticipated in previous reports. As more Baby Boomers reach retirement, they put more strain on the programs. At the same time, prolonged high unemployment has generated less revenue to fund the programs' obligations. The 2011 Trustees Reports say the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2024, not 2029 as estimated last year, and the Social Security trust funds will run out of funds in 2036, not 2037 as previously thought.

In addition to going bankrupt sooner than the later, the report confirmed the programs are already contributing to the federal deficits and will continue doing so throughout the coming decade. For example, since 2008, the Medicare program has run cash flow deficits, and this year's deficit exceeds $32 billion. The only thing keeping the program afloat is the sale of Treasury bonds in the Medicare Trust Fund, and the redemption of these paper IOUs increases the federal deficit.

Furthermore, Social Security has entered into a state of permanent deficit, meaning the government is paying out more in benefits than it is taking in. Social Security will soon be unable to pay its beneficiaries their full benefits, and in fact, without reform, benefits will have to be cut by 23%.

Federal spending on entitlement programs is the largest driver of the federal deficit and this report confirms Medicare and Social Security need fundamental reforms, and soon. Embracing the status quo ensures a bankrupt future for these programs. American taxpayers and future generations deserve better, so we must take steps now to strengthen these vital programs. Without action, current and future beneficiaries will face significant cuts even sooner than previously estimated. The time to work together to correct the unsustainable path of these programs is now.

For too long, Congress has ignored the causes of our crushing deficit burden. The Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 34), which passed the U.S. House on April 15, is an honest approach to the unavoidable challenges created by Medicare and Social Security which threaten our long-term fiscal sustainability. It is a responsible plan which keeps the government's promise to those in and near retirement from any disruption and strengthens the programs for future generations.

For more information about these issues, the latest developments from Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at www.adriansmith.house.gov.


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Find a way to fund our benefits. If you remove Social Security or Medicare you should be removed from office. These programs are good programs and are critical to our society. Why are you turning your back to a vulnerable segment of the population?

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 3:46 PM

Let us not forget that Congress also voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants.

It's too bad that our senators and representatives don't worry about balancing the general budget the same way they worry about Social Security and Medicare. Why not put our Congressional delegation on these programs?

-- Posted by j_trail on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 5:18 PM

Every Ponzi scheme will always come to the same bad end, because such systems are mathematically impossible to sustain. More pointedly, these schemes are fraudulent, and only those who smile enviously at the idea of living off of another man's bread think such treacherous perfidy a noble endeavor. Stop trying to "save" that which should never have seen the light of day in the first place. Those of you who think the rest of us owe you our hard-earned money should go live in Cuba--where the government will provide all the "security" you can stand--and then some.

The money systematically stolen from productive individuals is sucked into the government black hole--never to be seen again. How is it that you think it more efficient for a government "middle man" to keep your retirement "secure" rather than you saving or investing your own money?

So to fund your sacred SOCIALIST "security"--a once-more proven Ponzi failure--the country must go bankrupt? The rest of us who prepare for retirement must give up our hard-earned, WELL-PLANNED and HONEST security--so to fund the envious, cantankerous curmudgeons of our society? Because the GOVERNMENT stole from your generation--AND YOU ALLOWED THEM TO FURTHER PERPETRATE and GREATLY AMPLIFY THEIR CRIME--therefore we too must follow your miserable example? I have a word for you: NO!

Our wages were earned by US--NOT YOU. Our wages were earned with our blood, sweat and tears--NOT YOURS. We owe you not one red cent of that which is rightfully ours.

The SOCIALIST insecurity system is not just broke, it is intrinsically IMMORAL ... "Social Security" is legalized PLUNDER--grand theft committed under the color of law. A system of planned perfidy sold to paupers and simpletons whom had not the wits to do simple math... Just like the lottery--a tax for the stupid.

-- Posted by Bruce Desautels on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 8:57 PM

A large percentage of your constituents in Western Nebraska are seniors or those in their 40's or 50's approaching their "golden" years. Without our support you cannot be elected. So, why go to Washington and throw this group under the bus. Find a method to fund these programs. Quit the rhetoric and find workable solutions. This segment of the population is vulnerable. The problem does not disappear if the programs are disolved. Old age homes for the indigent will need to be built and unfunded medical expenditures will be incurred. If not these programs then others will be needed to keep seniors off the street. The greedy "BIFF TANNEN'S" of the world as noted in the previous comment, only care to serve themselves. Biff wants to amass wealth to show the world how great Biff is at the expense of others.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 11:43 AM

I agree, Buff, you are in a vulnerable position because you have likely been placed in that position. You were convinced by an omniscient government that it knew better how to handle your money than you. When you paid your money in, you expected to get it all back, am I right? Now that all-knowing government doesn't have that money because social redistribution of wealth doesn't seem to work, not then, not now.

I say with some degree of certainty, the point Bruce is trying to make is that a man should get to save the money he earns and not be told how and when. He should not be held responsible for another man's inability to save money either. Bruce, if that is not the point you are making, then I apologize for putting words where there are none. I feel like each day I go to work, I have to work a few hours for the next man just so I can have a dollar to bring home to my own family. If I have a car that will go 30 miles on one gallon of gas, when that gallon is gone, it will go no further. You cannot expect a system to continue to work when all of its fuel is gone.

Bruce, I feel like you use a word that most people in today's society cannot stand. A word that causes people to have to stop and think of another way. A word that delays instant gratification. A word that sometimes even HURTS, but can bring about real "change". It worked for me when I was a child. It works when I am planning for my retirement. That word is: NO.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 1:09 PM

BuffRoam - as a citizen who falls into the demographic to which you refer...I must say that I have never counted on the gov't to provide for me where I would have failed or not planned to provide for myself.

Adrian is simply reporting the contents of a report and immediately you start huffing about getting your due - which Bruce pointed out was unearned. You may have paid into the system - but being that SS is a truly less than a zero sum game, you didn't earn more than you contributed, therefore cannot expect my kids and grandkids to fund your lack of foresight towards your retirement.

You were sold a bill of goods...sorry. I went a different route. I've self-employed myself for over 85% of my career life and have provided for my wife and myself and our children. You had the same opportunity.

All entitlements need to either have a sunset, or be performance based, or both. I had a conversation with Adrian about this, and he actually had a better solution; which I will not post here; as that is HIS perogative toward timing, etc. The something for nothing mentality must come to an end - or you and everyone else will have NOTHING.

But as long as you get yours, why would you care?

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 9:06 PM

Speak-e-z, Mickel

Both of you are "Right on target."

BuffRoam,

I am sorry you cannot see the forest for the trees. Maybe you will "see" when we are all standing in government bread lines... or worker "re-education" camps, better known as gulags.

-- Posted by Bruce Desautels on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 11:47 PM

Isn't that strange. Just the other day a word jumped out at me as well in one of bruce's posts. I thought that it must sum up his life pretty well. The word was miserable.

-- Posted by hulapopper on Wed, May 25, 2011, at 8:46 PM

Amen hulapopper.

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Thu, May 26, 2011, at 7:39 PM

Quite a condemning comment, hulapopper...do you in fact know that Mr. Desautels is miserable? Or is this just your wish for him because you side with a differing opinion?

Anybody who can't see that the Social Security and Medicare entitlements need reform and reform NOW are willfully blind.

-- Posted by Mickel on Fri, May 27, 2011, at 5:30 PM


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U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith
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