Earlier this week I posted a short note and asked for your opinions and ideas for fixing Social Security and Medicare. I had concerns that when a great many people live payday to payday, the increase in monies they would see in their check would not be saved; instead spent on one problem or another. It looks as if many of you agree with me, but it also came about that I saw some really great ideas and logical solutions to the problem.
The largest majority voted NO, people living on the edge would stay on the edge. The money could not be saved due to one emergency or another. One writer pointed out that they HAD saved for retirement, but one illness could wipe them out. Another pointed out it wouldn’t have to be a personal emergency, that family would give for family as well. It’s good to know we aren’t ready to put Grandma on the ice floe yet. (grin) The final point in this is that things like the financial crisis of ’08’ and the BP oil spill would wipe out anyone who did save for their future anyway. So a better idea is needed. That is where you got the most creative!
The first was a simple increase in taxes and a slight increase in retirement age. The next was very creative. A teeny increase in the FICA tax would fix the shortage overall. “Using SSA numbers a 0.3% FICA increase devoted entirely to the DI program closes the DI 25, the DI 75 and the combined OASDI 25 year gap. Closing the combined OASDI 75 year gap under Intermediate Cost projections would require an additional series of 0.2% per year increases from 2026-2036 with a couple of similar tweaks after mid-century, all well below the projected level of real wage increases over that period.” Bruce Webb, Social Security Defenders, The Daily Kos
Then we need to address the Medicare issue. Unless medical cost is reigned in there is no fix. Medicare cannot hope to keep up the cost of medical care on our aging population the way it is. However, creating a medical system that is paid according to outcomes would help.
There are an infinite combination of ways to raise the payroll tax rate in such a way that it supplies sufficient revenue to keep social security (retirement and disability) adequately financed forever. Bruce and others have suggested ways to do it gradually so that you do not build trust funds balances that are too large
This is not a question of whether we can afford it (as Bruce points out) it is only an additional 0.7-1.2% of GDP (to solve the problem for 75 years or “forever”). Or 1.9-3.3% of our wages.” Economides, Social Security Defenders, The Daily Kos
This has been an excellent sounding of your ideas, ideals, and opinions. I found the answers to be well thought out and put. It is clear that the programs need to be kept solvent for those who live on the edge of the day to day. Now….how do we get this to the Senate and Congress so a real solution is found?