I've utterly given up on advocating for entitlement reform: the Democrats demagogue the hell out of the issue and Republicans are tired of being accused of pushing Grandma over a cliff.
And yet - every year - the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare warn that something must be done:
Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.In other words, time is needed to space out the needed cutbacks and give people time to adjust. But we won't do that. Instead, we'll just wait until the ship hits the iceberg:
The OASI Trust Fund, when considered separately, has a projected reserve depletion date of 2035, the same as in last year's report. At that time, income would be sufficient to pay 77 percent of scheduled OASI benefits.Oh, you were depending on your full benefit? Sucker: here's three quarters on the dollar.