Flying under the radar last week was a new government report that forecasts that the national debt will double over the next decade. The White House has projected a cumulative $9 trillion deficit between 2010 and 2019, while the Congressional Budget Office estimates a more optimistic $7.1 trillion based upon the expiration of Bush tax cuts. What this means is that Washington’s out-of-control spending will likely turn the nation’s already-staggering $11 trillion debt into an astronomical $20 trillion.
But there are at least two ginormous expenses that are excluded in these projections. First, both projections from the White House and CBO incorporate their belief that the deficit will decline quickly over the next three years, as they assume less bailouts are needed and the economy rapidly grows. But isn’t there also the real possibility that the economy will not recover as quickly as they hope? Every additional bailout or stimulus (large or small), and every margin of error in their three-year prospective climb-out of the economic pit, will inflate our nation’s debt balloon even more.
The second expense is far less speculative – and it has to do with about one-fourth of America. The 72 million baby boomers (people born in America from 1946 to 1964, excluding immigrants), the largest generation America has produced, are going into retirement over the next two decades and will face the golden years of declining health and rising medical costs. Under current law, if the government were to add the projected baby boomer costs of Medicare and Social Security to its debt tab, it would send deficit projections into the abyss.
Here’s the primary problem: Medicare is bankrupt. Medicaid is bankrupt. And Social Security is bankrupt. Though boomers have paid into these programs via their taxes for decades, there are not enough benefits to offer them, now and even less in the future. The problem is compounded when one understands that the number of people in the United States ages 65 and older is expected to double by 2030, and so is the amount expected to fund their retirement and health care in their twilight years, which relatively few are prepared to handle themselves.
So what is the U.S. government to do, especially when it is already projected to have a $20 trillion dollar debt in 2019 (let alone what it will be in 2030)?
That reform is needed in health care is not a question, mostly because Americans are being raped by the insurance companies. But Obamacare in its present form is not the answer, because it will progressively cut (yes, cut) the care for baby boomers in the future, if not through the reductions and costs of private options then through the mandatory benefit cuts the government has to make in Social Security and Obamacare (former Medicare). Think about it. If government can’t handle the costs of the elderly now in retirement via its Medicare and Social Security programs, do we really expect they will offer the baby boomer better (and more costly) benefits in the future?
The government knows that, with any version of a public option in health care, it is impossible for them to assist the baby boomer generation the way they assist their parents’ generation right now. Do the math. It’s impossible, in any form – not without the biggest tax increases ever levied upon the American people. This Washington knows: It must cut the benefits of Medicare and Social Security, otherwise the government itself will go bankrupt trying to offer those programs to the boomers over the next two decades. For a little inside peak into the Washington corridors on this issue, consider the following.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s own report, “The U.S. Retirement System and the Baby-Boom Generation,” “Present trends are unlikely to persist indefinitely, however, because total payments to retirees are expected to grow much faster under current law than either the total incomes of workers who pay Social Security and Medicare taxes or the revenues earmarked for those programs. That widening gap will place increasing stress on both programs. Narrowing the gap could involve slowing the future growth of benefits.”
Notice the words “under current law” and “slowing the future growth of benefits”? That is key. The only way around this future financial dilemma (at least according to this administration) is to change “current law” and to “slow” or lower the benefits for baby boomers. That new law (or basic legislation upon which such changes can be amended) is Obamacare. Are we so gullible to believe that the CBO’s report on baby boomers has no interplay with Obamacare legislation?
Look closely at the carefully stated italicized words (emphasis mine) within the Congressional Budget Office’s political strategy found within that same boomer report: “The extent to which baby boomers are providing for their own retirement – and have time to react to policy changes – is thus an important consideration in evaluating proposals to reform the Social Security and Medicare programs.” The only way the boomers will “have time to react to policy changes” is if they are enacted before they go into retirement! (Are you catching another reason for the White House’s rush to pass this legislation?!)
This is dirty secret No. 4 in Obamacare that our government isn’t telling you: Obamacare is ultimately designed to force retiring baby boomers into a much cheaper version of socialized medicine than Medicare, which is already being positioned to be cut to the tune of $500 billion. Obamacare is not merely about reforming health care to aid 47 million Americans who are uninsured. It is about reforming “current law” to ax 72 million retiring Americans who the government can’t afford to support over the next two decades.
Now you know why President Obama and recently White House budget director Peter Orszag both declared that health-care reform is “central” to economic recovery. Many have wondered how or why they can say that. They aren’t saying so because the government is expanding medical coverage or because it will cost them a trillion more dollars to socialize medicine. They are saying that because offering 72 million baby boomers less Social Security and Medicare benefits (via Obamacare) will save the government trillions over the next couple decades.
Consider the fact that we’re already feeling the birth pains of this generational catastrophe: For the first time in Social Security’s history last week, Social Security checks are projected to freeze or be cut in 2010, 2011 and even 2012. In fact, according to Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., another bailout could be imminent for Social Security.
Cut Social Security checks?! Let me get this straight. Corporations are given Washington bailouts. Society is infused with government stimuli. Consumers and car lots are given cash for clunkers. And the elderly, who will undoubtedly bear the brunt end of disproportionate medical costs and coverage merely because of their age, are experiencing an economic freeze already from the administration that promises not to cut their future benefits? Sounds to me that health-care rationing has already begun via Social Security!
Bottom line: Washington believes it must control spending on retirement and health benefits before millions of baby boomers retire, and Obamacare is the ticket to accomplish that objective. As Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said, “Today’s budget numbers send a clear signal that the time for putting off tough choices is over and the time to act is now.” But wouldn’t you like to know if those “tough choices” had to do with your future health care?
Again, friends, Washington’s whole covert plan can be summed up and seen in these words from the CBO report on baby boomers: “Under current law … slowing the future growth of benefits … have time to react to policy changes.”
I’ll say it one last time: Before so-called universal health care turns into your universal hell-care, write or call your representatives today and protest their rushing and voting Obamacare into law. Remind them what is needed in Washington is a truly bipartisan group that is allowed ample amount of time to work on compromised health-care law that reigns in out-of-control insurance companies and doesn’t raise taxes (for anyone), regulate personal medical choices, ration health care or restrict American citizens’ freedoms in any way.
My last four columns (outlining the four dirty secrets of Obamacare) are more than enough reason to kill this present so-called health-care legislation and send our politicians back to the drawing boards. That is why I’m sending my congressman this message that I also encourage you to send yours: “If you vote in Obamacare, I’ll fight to vote you out of office!”