Who here, reading this article, is old enough to remember reading about the “looming” babyboomer retirement crisis . . in the 1980s? The 1990s? Early 2000s?
This “crisis” – the wave of boomers now approaching retirement age AND the age of Social Security and Medicare eligibility – has been on the federal government AND political radar screen since the 1960s – when Medicare was first legislated.
Demographic data, and that data’s “related issues” – such as the coming of retirement age of the boomer generation – has been available to the U.S. Congress since the U.S. government began taking a census of the population – starting with the census of 1790.
Given available census data the so-called crisis isn’t an economic crisis. It’s a political crisis. One brought on by years and decades of Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators IGNORING THE DATA, THE FACTS – well known for decades that this time has been coming – as certain as any election comes every 2, 4 or 6 six years for Congress, the President or the Senate.
This “crisis” – and the untenable “solutions” proposed to solve it – such as privitizing Medicate – is one brought on by a lack of courage and decency and honesty and integrity. By an unwillingness to collect enough money, when times were good, to fund the obligations and agreements made with the post-war generation – who for years contributed to Social Security and Medicare in the belief that those in charge of the programs – the U.S. Congress – were going to keep their CONTRACT WITH AMERICANS.
For some 40 years I have been subject to taxes for Medicare and Social Security and never once did I object. I considered it an investment in my future. A form of insurance that I paid into, in the firm belief that MY GOVERNMENT would honor its promise, do the right thing, and be there when I needed it.
The 1960s. That’s when the “future” issues of Medicare were first recognizable – unless you, my elected officials, ignored the census data.
So don’t talk to me about “the crisis” of the looming budget deficits.
There is no economic crisis. There is now and always has only been a crisis of political honesty and political integrity and political will – to do what has been promised since 1935 (Social Security legislation enacted) and 1965 (Medicare legislation enacted).
I don’t want to hear another word about “the crisis”. I don’t want another “we can’t do this” – that is pay what has been promised, and paid for, by a generation for generations.
Get the will and the integrity to keep the promise that was made. Do what is necessary to keep that promise.
Do it now. Do it like you should have been doing in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990, and the 2000s – raising enough revenue to pay the bills that you KNEW would be coming in the 2010s and beyond.
Do it and apologize for decades of making it appear that saying “no new taxes” and legislating that policy was an honorable thing.
When all it really was was a set up for today’s Medicare and Social Security “deficit crisis”.