Benefits to senior citizens

(Ref. 316)
Problem Components
Policy issue area: Economics
Policy issue: Spending
Description: Benefits to senior citizens (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, military and civil service pensions, etc.) consume over 25% of the Federal budget, and continue to rise; poverty rate for children is 25% vs. 12% for the elderly.
Symptoms: Social Security and Federal pensions have unfunded liabilities of trillions of dollars; funds are shifted from programs for children to the elderly; 250,000 millionaires qualify for Medicare.
Causes: An overly-zealous catering to special interests, without fully comprehending or considering long-term effects and costs.
Cost of problem: -
Solution Components
Resources: Federal government (executive and legislative branches); concerned organizations; business and industry.
Goal: Bring senior citizen transfer payments into an equitable balance with societal needs and ability of the economy to produce.
Program area: Community development
Program-remedy: 1. Control Medicare, Medicaid and other health-related costs, through medical review and means testing
2. Income tax reform, to include transfer payments as income, after providing generous subsistence and dependence exemptions
3. Cost of living increases to be based on need.
Program-prevent: Taxation policies to stem the growth of non-means tested entitlements.
Cost of program: -
Beneficiaries: Taxpayers; wage earners; children.

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