Social security and Medicare need a recalibration to face the current economical realities. Older Americans should not bear the brunt of this as they have put so much into the system already and deserve the benefits promised to them.
Leaving Social Security on auto pilot and allowing it to continue to grow beyond its means is no longer an option. Based on current projections, Social Security will be unable to fulfill its obligations in 2033 and Medicare is not too far behind that.
Social Security & Medicare accounted for a combined 41% of the government's budget in 2011 amounting to almost $1.5 trillion dollars. These numbers are expected to rise as more baby boomers collect the benefits of these programs for longer periods of time due to an increased life expectancy.
A new social contract must be struck with the younger generation, my generation. While we still need to pay into the system, the benefits for us in the future will not be as high as the current social security payments being received. Either cuts to benefits or an increase in taxes have been recommended by the powers that be.