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Slow-motion disaster

April 25, 2012
The Journal

Nobody can say we weren't warned about the oncoming Social Security and Medicare shortfalls. We've been hearing for years that the Social Security Trust Fund will run out of money sometime in the far off future as the aging Baby Boomers hit the system.

On Monday, a federal government report indicated that the boomers, the weak economy, and the reluctance of anybody to do anything about it will result in the trust fund to run dry by 2033, three years earlier than previous predictions.

Watching this happen is like watching the water level rise during the spring flood season. People can tell from the heavy snow fall that a big flood is coming, they can listen to the weather prognostications and the forecasts, and hear about the surge of water from upstream heading their way. Wise people build levees and sandbag dikes to hold back the water. Fools wait until the water is up to their roofline to do anything.

But nobody with the power to do anything about Social Security ever does anything to avert the problem. We think the problem is too far away right now. Congressmen who should be doing something now know they will be long retired by 2033, and they want to get re-elected this year.

There is still time to address the future needs of Social Security while protecting the security of those currently on the program, or about to retire. Wise people in Congress, if there are any to be found, will do it.



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