More than just taunting from the Obama Administration
If you are on a pleasant walk and someone comes out of nowhere to demand that you stop and turn around, you may regard him as an unwelcome interloper. Until, that is, you learn that he’s saving you from going over a cliff. In that case, you might realize that a real friend is someone who tells you the truth even when it isn’t welcome.
That’s the position of Rep. Paul Ryan as he undergoes a frenzy of flagellation from Democrats outraged by his Medicare plan. President Barack Obama’s campaign has a new ad accusing Ryan and Mitt Romney of a scheme “ending Medicare as we know it.” But the real enemy of Medicare “as we know it” is not Ryan. It’s arithmetic. (Further reading click here.)
Medicare is the second biggest item in the entire federal budget and one of the fastest growing. Over the past 30 years, its cost has doubled as a share of our gross domestic product, and over the next 30, it’s on track to double again.
But the revenues that pay for it are not keeping pace. The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is expected to run out of money by 2024.
Now anyone with a lick of common sense would naturally want to know why a country the size, power, and international influence of the U.S.A. would ever allow itself to find itself with these kinds of figures. Most people – not today as Rep. Ryan and many, many others want to see to the problem – no, most people such as the Democrat Party would keep on spending billion by billions of dollars just to keep this raging dinosaur alive.
Notice earlier we used the word “arithmetic” as being the enemy of Medicare. It is not math, algebra, trigonometry, or calculus that is at stake here. It is simple arithmetic. So why should anyone wonder why this is happening to democrats, the ruling elite, or anyone who thinks about the year 2025?
Let’s start with immigration and naturalization. America has inherited 14 million new people without an invitation. At the rate of visa name changes and how one skirt the system regarding being given the title protected status, with the amount of refugees and those given asylum in the U.S.A. is staggering. We also want to list in here the visa lottery. How many millions of people has the nation allowed to come and live in this country without any reasonable means other than for “diversity.”
Or how about the inept program that is called Head Start? This program is a solid failure – not by anything I say or write – but by the recipients of the program. The data speaks for itself – failure. How much sense does it make to continue the one or more billion dollars per year? None. Now we suggest that before closing that program down that the proceeds generated be legislated into a particular fund, certainly not unappropriated.
At the rate we’re going, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest payments will consume the entire federal budget by 2025—leaving nothing for defense, law enforcement, national parks, highways, food stamps and all the other responsibilities the government is supposed to handle. Either drastic spending cuts or staggering tax increases would be needed.
To insist that Medicare can and should remain just as it is today is either delusional or dishonest, and Obama, at least, is not delusional. His Simpson-Bowles commission called for a variety of measures to slow its galloping growth, some of which could inconvenience seniors.
Ryan’s plan, contrary to what critics like to pretend, would not mean draconian cuts for people already on Medicare or about to be. The only people subject to most of the changes are those under age 55.
His chief reform is to shift from a defined-benefit program, which obligates the government to cover all costs, to a defined-contribution approach, which commits the government to provide a fixed amount of money for each recipient. Over time, seniors would have to pay a bigger share of the expenses, but benefits would keep up with inflation. Fair enough!
This ladies and gentlemen is the proper way to espouse “…everyone’s got to pay their own fair share…” Next up, the addressing of The Medicare Hospital Insurance “trust fund” along with Social Security’s “trust fund.”