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September 19, 2014

EDITORIAL: Make the fixes now

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Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:40 pm

Monday trustees for Medicare and Social Security issued annual reports on the financial security of these two highly valued federal government programs.

The trust funds for both are forecasted to be in good shape until the early 2030s. For Social Security, the trust fund is projected to be fully funded through 2033. For Medicare, the fund is secure until 2030.

We recognize that these are the sorts of figures that trigger the brain calculator for anyone retired or nearing retirement age. Nobody wants to be around when these funds aren’t able to cover all the costs of Medicare and Social Security.

The reports are a wake-up call for President Barack Obama and Congress. The clock is ticking on the financial health of Social Security and Medicare. Putting off fixes until closer to the deadline is irresponsible.

The options aren’t that varied: Reduce benefits. Increase taxes. Or a combination of the two.

Fixing these long-term problems is why voters send politicians to Washington, to offer leadership on tough issues. What are they waiting on?

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