It's Hard Out Here for a Senior
Maybe my earlier statements of resuming regular blogging were a bit premature. It's just been a real busy time. In any event, while there's a break in the action here on the floor, I happened to notice the following article which may have a lot of people rethinking their retirement plans:
WASHINGTON -- The trustees for the government's two biggest benefit programs said Monday that the trust fund for Social Security will be depleted in 2040, a year earlier than expected, while Medicare will exhaust its trust fund just 12 years from now.In light of the foregoing, I have to admit that I'm not too sure what to make of this statement in the article:
The annual report showed deterioration in the financial condition of both programs although the problems in Medicare were depicted as far more serious because of the skyrocketing costs for health care...
They stated that the projected long-term growth rates for both Social Security and Medicare are not "sustainable under current financing arrangements."...
While the depletion of the reserves built up over past years is projected to occur in just 12 years for Medicare and 34 years for Social Security, both programs will face financing issues much sooner at the point that the amount paid out each year exceeds the amount the government collects to fund them.
For Medicare, that occurred for the year of 2004. However, the program is projected to be in the black again this year before crossing over to paying out more than it takes in permanently in 2006 and the years following that.
For Social Security, the point at which the program will pay out more in benefits than it takes in will occur in 2017, the trustees projected, the same as in last year's report."
But Democrats charged that the administration was using the trustees reports to try to create an air of crisis to make radical changes to the two benefit programs.Whether it's pensions or Social Security, when the time comes to pay the piper, it's not going to be pretty.
"There is no crisis," said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif. "There remains plenty of time to mend rather than end Medicare."