Blogger Ronni Bennett has put up some must-read posts outlining an initiative designed to have a huge impact on Social Security and Medicare. In fact, the initiators want to dismantle both “entitlement” programs. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any problem collecting that money. There’s nothing slimy to me about the word entitlement when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. 

I clearly remember those two itemized deductions printed on my paystubs, every two weeks, over 37 years in the full-time workforce. As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting back  MY own money, with interest. They just held it for me to make sure I didn't spend it too early. A wise move...

But, I digress. I urge you to read Ronni’s two reports, written with clarity and passion, at. They will make your hair stand on end: 

Here’s economist Barbara Kennelly’s take on what’s really worth worrying about (hint—we’re trying to reform it):
… a CBO analysis explains that if every entitlement in the federal budget were repealed outright — eliminating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other critical programs — but nothing were done to slow the growth in health care costs overall, we would still find ourselves spending almost 70 percent of the nation’s wealth on health care by 2082. On the other hand, if the rate of growth in overall health care is restrained so it is no longer growing faster than the rest of the economy, Medicare’s long-range financial deficit could be cut by well over one-half.

Contrary to the political crisis rhetoric, the Social Security Trustees report that Social Security will have sufficient funds to pay full benefits through 2041. Even better, the CBO projects that full benefits can be paid through 2049. No other federal program is subject to such strict, long-term spending restrictions and oversight.

The Social Security Trustees report every year on the income and outgo of the fund over a 75-year period. Over the next 75 years, Social Security has a funding gap, but that gap is both modest and manageable. Moreover, even if no changes at all were made in Social Security, and no one is recommending that, incoming revenues after 2041 would be sufficient enough to finance 78 percent of benefits.

Barbara B. Kennelly
published in Roll Call, March 11, 2009 



12/02/2009 10:15

Thanks for the kind words about my blog.
And I see we're both passionate about stopping any threat to Social Security. I was glad to see you have the exact same feelings about 'entitlement' that I have. Entitled? You bet I am and I'm certainly not ashamed of the word. I paid for it.

12/02/2009 15:12

You have to watch those sneaky b's all the time. Thanks to Ronni and to you for bringing this to the attention of all Seniors.

Karen Holmgren
12/02/2009 17:00

Hi, I sent an email to the PBS Newshour asking them to check this out and give us a report.

12/04/2009 19:43

Social Security is so complicated that only a few actuarial types really understand it. However, one common misconception that I saw in the e-mail is that Social Security is like a pension system, that is, individuals contribute into their own accounts, which grow and supply their benefits when they apply for them.

Social Security is not a pension system. Those collecting retirement benefits currently receive them from contributions of those who are working and contributing into the system. This is the reason for the concern that the pool of working individuals is shrinking in relation to the growing number of retirees. In addition, when the program was designed, older people lived only a few years after they retired. Now they live a decade or more.

Individuals can start drawing down benefits at 62 or older. They will get maximum benefits at full retirement age, which is now greater than 65. They can apply for and collect those benefits whether or not they retire. If they continue to work, they will continue to pay into the system and any increased income from year to year will increase the amount of their retirement benefit.


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