Thank you, Tom, morning everyone and good. Today I want to discuss challenging that impacts each and every citizen, the fitness of our economy, and our country’s ability to maintain its leadership role in the world. That problem is the immediate need to reform and modernize our entitlement programs-primarily Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These are back-up programs that we have enacted as a compassionate culture to look after older people in retirement, for individuals with disabilities, and for individuals who cannot afford medical health insurance independently.
We need to fix these programs so that no elderly people, or in the foreseeable future now, will ever have to question if they can get the health care they need or the Social Security benefits they have gained. We have to fix these programs because they will consume every buck the government gathers usually. You will see no money left over to improve our schools, defend our country from its enemies, clean our environment, or repair our bridges and streets. We need to fix them so that people don’t have to keep adding trillions to your national debt or pay ever-increasing levels of interest on that debt.
1 trillion per season by 2023 and explode well beyond that-not if, but when, interest rates reach normal levels back. Why do these programs need fixing in the first place? Because Americans are thankfully living a lot longer than they used to, which means they are drawing more total benefits over their lifetimes than the systems were ever made to pay for. Because longer life spans are being powered by healthcare innovation, which contributes significantly to the increased cost of both healthcare and entitlement programs.
And because Americans are having fewer children, which means relatively speaking, there are fewer employees paying into the system compared with the true number of beneficiaries. We must have a vigorous debate about how to fix these scheduled programs, but before we can do this, Americans must identify that there surely is a problem first. The evidence obviously shows that the programs as we know them today cannot survive without reform and modernization. Yet according to public opinion polls, most Us citizens aren’t prepared to acknowledge this actuality yet.
So what we hope to accomplish is to get the truth out. To start the debate in earnest. To pave the way for action earlier than later rather. Let me give out 10 truths about entitlements that people all must recognize and then act upon. Truth No. 1: Entitlement programs are huge, expensive, and reach into every part of American life. 1.year 6 trillion per.
Social Security sends investigations to 58 million retired Americans as well as widowed spouses and minor children of deceased workers. Year 809 billion per. 586 billion. Medicaid provides health care for 62 million poorer Americans. 265 billion. And you have the Social Security Disability program that delivers help to 8.8 million people categorized with disabilities.
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Two years after being categorized, these recipients can qualify for Medicare regardless of age. In 2010 2010, around 49% of households received advantages from these three entitlement programs or other federal and state assistance. These programs also reach into every part of American life incidentally they may be financed-direct payroll taxes, borrowing from tax revenues, and using federal government debt.
Truth No. 2: Entitlement programs aren’t self-funding and are a main driver of deficits. This has been true since their inception and remains true today. Without reform, the typical 3rd grader will receive no more than 75% of the huge benefits provided to today’s seniors. By the same token many retirees are collecting more in benefits than they contributed far. It is important for citizens to understand this. Many oppose changes in entitlement programs because they believe they are just getting out what they put in.
In fact, many of us have had discussions with our own parents and in-laws who simply don’t want to believe that they are taking out more than what they paid in. But it’s true-and when they reunite more than they put in, that plays a part in the deficit. Truth No. 3: Entitlement costs are growing at an alarming rate.