AP - The bad economy is worsening the already-shaky finances of Medicare and Social Security, draining the trust funds supporting them faster than expected and intensifying the need for Congress to shore up the massive benefit programs, the government said Friday.
Submitted by Gary Galles of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, “We paid our Social Security and Medicare taxes; we earned our benefits.” It is that belief among senior citizens that President Obama was pandering to when, in his second inaugural address, he claimed that those programs “strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers.”
(Reuters) - A partial shutdown of the U.S. government will begin at midnight on Monday if Republicans and Democrats fail to agree on a funding bill. In a government shutdown, spending for essential functions related to national security or public safety would continue along with benefit programs such as Medicare health insurance and Social Security retirement benefits for seniors.
WASHINGTON — U.S. aviation officials are warning travellers about the possibility of delayed flights and travel disruptions if government spending cuts go ahead on Friday — an issue President Barack Obama won’t actually discuss with congressional leaders until the deadline day itself.
There are many overlapping ways of looking at the federal budget. One way is to look at revenues and spending in total--the "unified budget". Another way is to look at the health of the various "trust funds"--Social Security, Medicare, etc.--that have dedicated revenue streams coming in and dedicated expenditures going out.
Every since the early eighties, when the Greenspan commission kicked the can down the road with a combination of tax increases and later retirement ages, analysts have been awaiting the day when the system would finally go into deficit. That date has been sliding around between 2016 and 2020 for some years now, but the suspense is finally over: the system is going into deficit this year.