JUNE 12, 2013

Depletion of Social Security and Medicare funding is a 'clear and present crisis'

Dan Weber says he is shocked at the complacent attitude of the administration over the fate of these programs
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BOHEMIA, NY – "The latest review of Social Security and Medicare funding shows they are going broke, but Treasury Secretary Lew and Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius say there is little cause for concern. They believe it's 'good news' that it will be years until these trusts run out of money. They claim there is plenty of time to make needed fixes," noted Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

"Nonetheless, the money is running out," Weber said, noting that he is shocked at what he called the complacent attitude of the administration over the fate of these programs. "Is the lack of urgency a signal that Social Security and Medicare reform plans are being shelved?"

In the annual report issued last week, Weber pointed out, the independent trustees of the funds saw fit to add this chilling comment before signing off on the document: "It is important to grasp that the amount of time remaining to enact a financing solution that is both reasonably balanced and politically plausible is far less than the amount of time projected before final depletion of Social Security's combined trust funds."

The AMAC chief said one of the most important missions of the association is to achieve reform before it is too late. "We are active among lawmakers in Washington and making a concerted effort to get the media to adopt Social Security and Medicare reforms as key issues that need the immediate attention of Congress and the White House. We also want the print and electronic media to begin acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare are not entitlement programs, but retirement and health care trusts that we have been paying for all our working lives."

Calling the situation "a clear and present crisis," Weber explained that the portions of the Social Security and Medicare Trusts dedicated to benefits for 11 million workers and their dependents will be depleted in less than three years.

The two independent trustees, Robert Reischauer and Charles Blahous, both noted economists, seem to agree that the situation is desperate. Reischauer put it this way: "Under current law, both of these vitally important programs are on unsustainable paths." Blahous said we don't have much time left in which to act.

Weber said he believes our lawmakers in D.C. are savvy enough to be able to "walk and chew gum at the same time and so are quite capable of dealing with the recent spate of Washington scandals and tackling Social Security and Medicare reform at the same time. With the help of our membership will continue to press them for solutions."

The Association of Mature American Citizens is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation.

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