Thursday Jul 21, 201112:53 PM GMT
US social security shouldn't be cut: poll
Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:54PM
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The American people are eager for their leaders to get something done and solve the country's budget impasse. The only problem is their proposed solutions for it.


A recent Pew Research Center poll found a majority of Americans believe that Medicare and Medicaid’s benefits shouldn't be cut. The Globe and Mail




Asked "which is more important - taking steps to reduce the budget deficit or keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are," 60 percent chose keeping the benefits, versus 32 percent opting for deficit reduction. The Globe and Mail


Given a choice between "people on Medicare need to be responsible for more costs to make it financially secure" and "people on Medicare already pay enough of their health costs," 61 percent said the latter, versus 31 percent calling for more cost shifting to Medicare recipients. The Globe and Mail


And bad news for state governments: Just 37 percent said "states should be able to cut back on Medicaid eligibility to deal with budget problems," versus 58 percent saying "low income people should not have their Medicaid benefits taken away." The Globe and Mail


In his July 15 news conference on the debt issue, President Obama indicated that in an effort to address the long-term problems with Medicare (and presumably Social Security), he would be willing to consider "means testing" these programs, that is, reducing the benefits for retirees with high incomes. CSM


Social Security, which is not even close to bankruptcy, is actually funded by a form of public insurance that workers pay into as a kind of pension for their old age. The same is the case for Medicare, which keeps millions of our elderly (including those who've signed on to the "cut government spending" bandwagon) from bankruptcy, destitution, and earlier death. Huffington Post




The U.S. government is committed under current law to mandatory payments for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The GAO projects that payouts for these programs will significantly exceed tax revenues over the next 75 years. The Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) payouts already exceed program tax revenues and Social Security payouts exceeded payroll taxes in fiscal 2010. CNN


The present value of these deficits or unfunded obligations is an estimated $45.8 trillion, of which approximately $7.7 trillion relates to Social Security, while $38.2 trillion relates to Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, health care programs are nearly five times as serious a funding challenge as Social Security. Adding this to the national debt and other federal commitments brings the total obligations to nearly $62 trillion. Examiner


Some economists believe the real debt is up to approximately $120 trillion, if the U.S. Debt Clock includes "off-budget" debt.


The federal debt doesn't include an estimated $45-105 trillion more in debt to pay for future obligations on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare - including interest on the national debt.


The federal government debt hit a $14.3 trillion ceiling on May 16. WSJ


 Former Congressman Joe DioGuardi, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), has estimated the total accrued off-budget debt - including future obligations - to presently be over $63 trillion.


According to a June report by USA Today, the federal government has a record $61.6 trillion of financial promises not paid for after $5.3 trillion of new financial obligations were added in 2010. Daily Mail





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