In a New York Times opinion posted on October 26, Glenn Kramon and I discussed some of the reforms needed for programs for the elderly and near-elderly. (Note: when allowed in a few weeks, it will be reposted here on Substack). The article suggests that in addition to tax increases, some reductions in the rate of growth of benefits promised to future cohorts of retirees will be required to deal with such pressures as a decline in workers to retirees, benefit increases scheduled to grow forever faster than national economic growth, and the federal debt problem. We worried about the rising relative needs of the often-poorer young and working class and the increased burdens being placed on them. We paid special focus on ways to encourage more work as people live longer. Though modest in the short run, improvements in Social Security and overall government fiscal balances can be quite substantial over a long period. Additional work brings in more revenues and allows benefits to be concentrated more in older old age, even when average lifetime benefits remain the same.
I do not understand why you put the SS expenditure as an amount that needs to be divided and diverted to meet human citizen needs. Rather than calculating what we as a country need to raise and spend for the population outside the SS program.
You earlier spoke of all the old people out playing golf. I find that at least partly true. Old men are out playing golf, if they are able. That much is true. We old women on the other hand are burning out in the country’s nonprofits and institutions, serving the crushing mass of neighbors who are poor, elderly, alone, ill, unfed, unsheltered or abandoned, or all or part of many of those afflictions. Our joke of a national tax system is collapsed in webs of minutia and opaque and secret entitlement. Failure since the 80’s to address our national need for educated, healthy thriving and productive citizens resulted in our unacknowledged servitude. Blind, deaf and apparently privileged by the self-entitlement of freedom from responsibity, you do not see or count who it is that is playing golf. We deserve better government but stealing from old needy to pay for the consequences of our neglect to govern for the common good is, I believe, laughably crazy.