By Jon Dougherty
One area where socialists — sorry, Democratic socialists — lack is in mathematics, and we’re not even talking the complicated stuff like algebra, trigonometry, and geometry.
They have trouble with simple arithmetic: Adding and subtracting. But we’re going to try to help them out.
Even as 2020 Democratic presidential contenders like “Red” Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and the others push “Medicare for all,” which would be a massive expansion of government-run healthcare, Medicare and its close cousin, Social Security, are still going broke.
Both of these line items account for roughly 40 cents of every federal budget dollar spent in a fiscal year — 40 percent — and both are nearing insolvency. Every now and then Republicans pretend to be serious about curbing the growth of these programs, but those ideas tend to die quickly. Thus far, POTUS Donald Trump hasn’t made reforming both programs a priority (though he did try to get rid of Obamacare, believing that Republicans wanted to do so as well).
As for Democrats and their growing socialist faction, they’ve simply been living in denial, suffering from a deficit in math analysis — when they haven’t been outright lying about the few GOP attempts to bring needed changes to the programs so they don’t go belly-up and leave a generation of Americans or two with trillions more dollars’ worth of debt.
But per the government’s own bookkeepers, here is the grim truth:
The latest report from the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security show the financial condition of the bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky. Monday’s report paints a sobering picture of the programs, though it’s relatively unchanged from last year’s update.
Social Security would become insolvent in 2035, one year later than previously estimated, with only enough money cover 80 percent of its obligations. Medicare is pointed toward insolvency even sooner, by 2026. But potential cuts such as curbing inflationary increases for Social Security, hiking payroll taxes, or raising the Medicare retirement age from the current 65 are so politically freighted and toxic that Washington’s power players are mostly ignoring the problem.
If Congress doesn’t act, both programs would eventually be unable to cover the full cost of promised benefits. With Social Security that could mean automatic benefit cuts for most retirees, many of whom depend on the program to cover basic living costs. For Medicare, it could mean that hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical providers would be paid only part of their agreed-upon fees.
Meanwhile, again, 2020 Dems want to double down on the insanity. They want to dismantle what’s left of our free-market healthcare system (which isn’t much given Obamacare and decades’ worth of federal encroachment into the healthcare and health insurance industry via regulations and mandates) and make it all reliant on a failing, self-bankrupting system.
Notes Guy Benson at TownHall, “Medicare’s 2026 insolvency date aligns with the first midterm election of the next president, if Trump wins a second term. We aren’t talking about decades from now; we’re talking about less than a decade from now. And the consequences will be very real for beneficiaries and providers, both of whom would face painful cuts.”
And he notes that the cuts can’t be the traditional “Washington-style cuts” — that is, calling reductions in the growth of spending cuts. No, cuts mean just that — cutting the amount of spending for the programs overall, so that they don’t keep posting red ink year after year after year.
How dire is the situation, really? The government says:
Social Security’s costs are expected to exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits. The improved forecast stems in part from the health of the labor market, which has boosted workers’ paychecks and fueled higher tax revenue. But the programs’ unsustainable long-term outlook is little changed from last year. By 2035, the trust funds for both programs will be depleted, and Social Security will no longer be able to pay its full scheduled benefits…
Here’s the problem with truly reforming the system, however: Any mention of doing so spurs Democrats into fabricating stories about Republicans throwing old people off cliffs and off their medicine and out in the streets, all with a great, big assist from the garbage “establishment” media. So instead of doing what is right for the country and future generations of Americans, Democrats keep us all on the Social Security/Medicare merry-go-round until both just go bankrupt.
POTUS Trump is the only president with enough intestinal fortitude to not only drag Congress kicking and screaming into reforming both of these socialist nightmare policies, but also has enough of a commanding presence in the media to fend off the anticipated Democratic lies.
It’s either now or never. And if it’s never, then our kids will never forgive us.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10