President Obama launched into his second term with a sharply worded inaugural address Monday -- using the platform to "reject" steep cuts to entitlements, press for an immigration reform package and wag the finger at Washington's penchant for "name-calling" and "spectacle."There is no easy solution to the Social Security/Medicare problem. There are a great many individuals who paid into both programs for their entire lives, expecting that when they retired, the money would still be there. The problem is, politicians (on both sides of the aisle) used these programs like a piggy bank, and spent the money on pet projects. Now there is no money there, and Social Security and Medicare rely upon current contributions to pay for those currently collecting. They are robbing Peter to pay Paul, and eventually the whole construction will fall apart. So while just abolishing the programs will not work, serious reform is needed.
The president quickly toggled through a host of agenda items, but used some of his most forceful language to defend costly entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security that could be the target of cuts in upcoming fiscal talks.
Declaring that the country cannot succeed "when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it," he described those programs as a vital safety net -- though, without some intervention, budget forecasters warn they will not be sustainable in the long term.
Also "safety net"? Medicare and Social Security were never intended as such - they are supposed to be retirement programs, not welfare.
Medicaid on the other hand... People who do nothing of utility and pay little to nothing in taxes get Medicaid. Medicaid is a welfare program, plain and simple. It is unnecessary and cost $275,000,000,000 in 2011 (I'll be doing a post on that infographic later).
Our president chose to take a stand against reforming or abolishing the largest part and most wasteful part of our budget. It is obvious that while he talks a great talk, he could care less about actual fiscal responsibility.