I’ll state my conclusion right up front. To gain consensus on reforming Social Security and Medicaid, we need the current and soon to be recipients and those younger to come together with a common vision. The core principals at the center of this are:
- Solving these issues will go a long way to restoring hope in the future of the U.S. economy.
- It will require soon to be recipients to agree to means testing of their income, perhaps moving the retirement age up and even limiting payments.
- It will require younger generations to agree to 401K type investments instead of direct payments.
- The discussion should be practical, not ideological. A common, successful vision can benefit all.
The same discussion needs to occur on the State and Local levels with public pensions. Certainly teachers, firemen, policemen and others deserve a pension, based upon their significant contributions to the public order and welfare. To insist upon these when they indeed will likely bankrupt the very cities and communities these same people reside in is a remedy for disaster.
So, how we, as individuals live within our circles of community and how we create mutually beneficial institutions is central to what our communities and nation look like in 20 years. Learning to live for the common good is something we all need to explore and discuss.