Thanks to Marie Cocco for providing some much needed truth telling about the long-running anti-entitlement campaign launched by those who oppose the very idea of Social Security and Medicare and propelled by self-described “fiscal hawks” in Congress.
“Now that so many of us have been whipsawed financially, it is time to wipe the term entitlement reform out of the political dictionary.
The phrase is a monument to the dark art of disinformation. Its premise is that federal “entitlements”—that is, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—are bankrupting the country and weighting down generations of younger Americans with the extraordinary burden of caring for their aging parents and grandparents.
People bought the propaganda—at least until an irresponsible consumer credit binge, rapacious banks and rampant speculation began bankrupting the country and weighting down generations of Americans, young and old. Now we have to deconstruct decades of this disinformation about the “entitlement crisis” before policymakers can confront whatever crisis really is at hand.
First, Social Security isn’t part of it, and never has been. Medicare and Medicaid are costly and burdensome not because they are “entitlements” but because they are part of the foundering American health insurance system—a system that is costly and burdensome.”
“Social Security is the most fiscally responsible part of the entire federal budget,” says Nancy Altman, who was a top aide to Alan Greenspan when the 1983 commission headed by Greenspan really did have to avert an imminent crisis. “Social Security is in surplus for the next two decades.”
Rather than feed the myth that Social Security is part of an entitlement “crisis,” Obama should seize this moment to debunk it. To do so he must rhetorically divorce Social Security from Medicare and Medicaid.”
And beyond that, the system can pay full benefits through 2041, according to the Social Security trustees—or 2049, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
We highly recommend you read the entire article and we’re glad to give Marie Cocco and Truthdig a “Networthy Award” for outstanding coverage of elder issues on the net.