Monday, December 05, 2005

Kill two birds with one stone

Ever concerned about the growth of government, I used to think that when it comes to Social Security benefits, the important thing is that their growth be significantly slowed, and that how isn't particularly important, except that it be politically feasible. I've recently changed my mind. The goal should be raising the retirement age. No other approach can so seemlessly address both the increasing costs of Social Security and of Medicare. And the projected fiscal shortfalls are earlier and bigger for Medicare than they are for Social Security. Moreover, even trimming promised benefits of the distant future is politically painful, so it is easier if the cuts are agreed to all at once.

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