The day has finally arrived. This year, that's right, 2007 is the long-denied year that Medicare payments will exceed revenues, according to trustees. Although some thought it might take a few more years, the prescription drug benefit program pretty well tossed that idea out the window and moved up the timeline considerably, a concern that Congressman John Shadegg and others voiced when the program was debated. Of course, as recently as last year, officials were claiming that the program was having no significant effect on Medicare solvency—another congressional spending smoke and mirrors game.
Within 6 years, nearly half of Medicare costs will not come from payroll witholding taxes for Medicare, but from general tax revenues.
But that's not all. Social Security, more commonly mentioned as an impending entitlement crisis, has a few years left, it seems. It can hold out for ten more years before experiencing the same inevitable fate. Of course, this doesn't take into account that nearly a third of the deficit already exists as IOUs the government wrote to itself to fund Social Security shortages, a practice most would label "juggling the books."
In a little more than 20 years, combined Medicare and Social Security costs and service on the national debt will consume EVERY dollar of taxes paid. How's that for a reality check?
In the wake of thousands of cases of Social Security fraud including identity theft by illegal aliens, and the fact that some in congress want to extend SS benefits to illegals including those convicted of identity theft, it's hard to imagine this problem being resolved anytime soon. So, welcome 2007, the day of reckoning; Farewell to any hope this congress will confront it.