The Beginning of the End of Entitlements?

The Washington Post reports on upcoming troubles with the entitlement system:

The financial health of the Social Security system has eroded more sharply in the past year than at any time since the mid-1990s, according to a government forecast that ratchets up pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to stabilize the retirement system that keeps many older Americans out of poverty.

The report, issued yesterday by the trustees who monitor the government’s two main forms of help for the elderly, shows that Medicare has become more fragile as well and is at greater risk than Social Security of imminent fiscal collapse. Starting eight years from now, the report says, the health insurance program will be unable to pay all its hospital bills…

Specifically, the trustees’ report predicts that the trust fund from which Social Security payments are made will be unable to pay retirees full benefits by 2037, four years earlier than forecast a year ago. In particular, the trustees single out the financial weakness of the part of the program that subsidizes disabled Americans, saying that fund will run out of money in 2020.

Not only is the entitlement system breaking down, it seems, but it is crumbling at a faster rate than was previously expected. Of course, Congressman Ron Paul has long called attention to the long-term problems with the entitlement system, advocating that changes quickly be made to avoid failure to pay those seniors who have been promised benefits. For more from him on “The Coming Entitlement Meltdown,” go here, and for further explanation of why the Social Security system is little more than a house of cards, go here.

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