Why Does America Ignore the Obvious Problem with Entitlements?

With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Federal Budget our Dear Leader the Obamanator proposed recently, you occasionally hear the solution mentioned but it is rarely discussed and Congress turns it’s back (for example by voting unanimously to keep entitlements off the table when considering how not to bankrupt the country).  It seems to me the solution is just plain obvious.  When Social Security was conceived, the government was assuming the obligation to pay some piddling amount for what was an expectation of something like 2 years per person.  This was because the average life expectancy at the time was about 2 years more than the age at which the government would start paying benefits. A similar dynamic is at work with Medicare.

In the meantime, America’s  great medical entrepreneurs and doctors and scientists (some from outside America too) have figured out how to extend our lives to the point where we are now living not 2 – but 15, 20 or 30 years past the point where the government starts paying benefits.   So we need to either decrease life expectancies, which seems rather evil, or move the retirement age out to be in line with our ever-increasing life spans.  The blunder the government made at program inception (and one they seem to make with every program in one way or another, do they not ever learn anything?) was not to index the age at which benefits start to life expectancy.  It is just as stupid as not indexing other benefits for inflation.  The Germans have already taken steps to address this.  Are we less capable than Germany?  The obvious solution is to move the retirement age out to be more in line with increased life expectancy.  Is that so hard?  See here for a discussion of how some countries have done this.

Instead we have Demunists trying to take over health care which will have the nearly immediate effect of reducing life expectancies.  While that might help in the long run, it is not the optimal solution I would submit.  And it does not address the other driver of our entitlement crisis, the fact that health costs rise faster than economic growth.  It actually makes it worse.  The country senses this.  Is it any wonder that Commocrats will get wiped up in the fall elections?  Not that I trust the Republicans to do the right thing.   But with them any legislation will likely be only marginally destructive rather than utterly destructive as it will be under the Demunists.

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