**Social Security and Medicare are on the brink of collapse, and politicians seem unwilling to make necessary changes. As Americans live longer, there are fewer workers to support retirees. The only solution is to cut benefits, raise the age of benefits, or privatize retirement plans; failing to address the issue now will have severe consequences for future generations.**
Social Security and Medicare are doomed. Their impending collapse is due to an elderly population that continues to live longer, without enough working individuals to support them. Politicians, however, refuse to take serious action or engage in honest conversation about the issue for fear of alienating their voter base.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron attempted to address insolvent pensions by raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, yet faced fierce protests. In the United States, politicians, like Donald Trump, promise not to touch Medicare or Social Security, while others, such as Bernie Sanders, deny the obvious: Reserve funds for both programs are projected to run out (by 2034 for Social Security and even sooner for Medicare).
As the average life expectancy has increased from the mid-60s when these programs were first introduced, to 76 today, the number of workers available to pay for retirees simply isn’t sufficient. The lack of clarity and accountability surrounding the costs of Medicare only exacerbates the problem, as older Americans remain unaware of who is paying for their medical expenses.
Economist Dan Mitchell of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity warns that Medicare is like a ticking time bomb – bound to explode sooner or later. Politicians appear unconcerned, however, as they won’t be in office when that happens. Raising taxes on the rich won’t address the deficit either, as there isn’t enough wealth to cover the impending financial crisis.
The solutions? Cutting benefits, raising the age of benefits (considering that people live longer now), or privatizing retirement plans similar to what Australia and Chile have done – none of which American politicians are eager to do.
The only remaining option is to print more money, as done in Zimbabwe, where this strategy led to currency collapse in 2009, with hundred trillion-dollar bills becoming worthless. And while the current debt ceiling deal saw some claw back of unused COVID relief funds, President Joe Biden’s proposal of a record $7 trillion in spending next year adds more fuel to the fire.
**Unless urgent action is taken on Social Security and Medicare, future senior citizens face the likelihood of benefit cuts, health care rationing, or inadequate access to medical providers. It’s time for politicians to put the welfare of the country and its citizens above their own interests, and tackle this impending crisis head-on.**