Can We Expand Social Security & Medicare While Spending Less?
I’m going to start by saying what this article is not:
It won’t be an article focused on the rogue conservative/libertarian notion of “Let’s privatize it!”
This article isn’t going to offer the leftist bullshit of raising salary caps on social security (in other words, taxing people more and giving their money to other people).
It’s also not going to be highly-partisan bullshit.
The focus of this is to propose an actual idea which could save social security and medicare while also making it leaner and stable for years to come. I’m writing it with reality in mind: The Earth is round, evolution exists, vaccines don’t cause autism, global warming is real, Donald Trump is a jackass, and social security and medicare cannot, I repeat, cannot exist with the current model. The government is cursed with this problem only a government can manage to figure out how to have which is people aren’t dying as often as they used to. And hey… Better disease diagnostic technologies… Research on telomeres extension… 3D printing for pharma products from raw materials… Robot doctors… More educated people than any point in human history on medicine, biotech and pharma… There it is, the fact it’ll be pretty likely in 20 years most people are living longer than any projections currently made, and 65 is going to be the new 45 with grandma listening to the Britney Spears. Also, in this reality, there is the uncomfortable reality that social security is essentially modeled as a Ponzi scheme, and thanks to birth control, abortion being casually used and people flat-out realizing having kids kind of sucks, new participants aren’t coming in that quick. Social security and medicare are in some serious trouble.
There are four ideas currently proposed from the different political positions with no chance of doing any good, or getting done in the first place:
- The conservatives/libertarians: Let’s privatize it all! Woo!
- The moderate right: Ugh… Let’s raise the age a little bit and cut cost a little bit. Please!
- The moderate left: Problems with social security and medicare? Nanana I’m not listening!
- The hard left: Problem? Let’s just tax someone more!
Breaking that down, let’s throw privatization out now. I personally like the idea and think it’d not only help our economy, but just get people a better deal in general for those services. However, I just doubt it’ll ever pass. The simple fact is most of Congress have no real balls on the issue, will never rock the boat and anything where there’s a chance anyone will complain and they’ll never do it. This one and the risk attached are kind of a big pill to swallow. One which I have ideas for how to help swallow it, but that’s for another article.
The next are the moderate right and left. Both seem to have non-solutions and just ignore the issue. The right seems a little better with means testing, administration cost cutting, minor raising of the age, and perhaps reducing benefits. This, while probably the most practical way to go, still likely has little chance of passing until things have already hit the fan too heavily. Good intentions from the moderate right, but still hard to pass due to the moderate left just pretending this issue isn’t an issue.
For the hard left… it’s just flat-out ridiculous. This crazy idea of just wanting to raise taxes as the solution is nonsensical. It’s a model of endlessly flooding things and there is no happy ending here. In the year 2050, I could, thanks to minor tweaks in technology, see a world where people live to age 100 regularly and that is being conservative. Examining tech being shown by groups such as Sens, Google and more, dying could also be a thing in 2050 we are curious if it happens or not. This idea of having more and more people retire on the dimes of others is something which science sadly doesn’t make work for the government. It’s a fantasy idea and even if the economic downturn of the massive tax hikes needed to close, the current gaps don’t make people vomit, the continued hikes needed will eventually even send Dennis Kucinich shivering.
Breaking down the problems, here’s just one idea I’ve had. One model where the focus is keeping the cost the same or less, but not actually pissing anyone off.
Here it is…
Raise the age! But… reduce the age at the same time!
How does that work?
Say someone turns 55 years old. They are now under this new model marked as in pre-retirement years. Thus, at this point in life, they will get 10% of social security and medicare benefits directly. When they turn 58, it goes 20%, 62 will be 33%, 65 is 50%, 68 is 75%, and 71 is 100%.
Create a model where the plan to give benefits starts at a lower age easing people into the coziness of retirement, but where completed benefits come in at a later date. Ny doing this, people who are older can move into more part-time jobs or maintain full employment and manage to save more for retirement from these funds. Plus, it is 100% budget neutral due to the ages just giving money that comes from taking funds that’d go in the years 65 to 71.
Yet, how does this cure the model of people aging?
This is where we join the moderate right. We say raise the age. Raise the age for all benefits yearly and have a commission determine what percent of society is in the pre-retired age pool to always cap it at a certain percentage of the population. Meaning, if life expectancy rises 10% and the new number of people marked as old enough in this pool climbs, younger people are marked out and the phase of pre-retirement will not begin at 57 over 55. This model, however, it is a trade off where the goal of asking people to start getting smaller benefits at a younger age and progress into full benefits later on is something I feel a lot of older people can embrace.
However… this is just one simple proposal in a simple article. Am I wrong? Am I right? Write in the comments!
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