Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Time works against candidates on Social Security, Medicare fixes

David Lightman and Kevin G. Hall of McClatchy Newspapers report on how the presidential candidate's lack of attention to Social Security and Medicare can only mean delay in fixing them, which in turn increases the cost and difficulty of any reform.

Social Security and Medicare long have been considered the nation's fiscal time bombs, and the ticking is getting louder. But presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have no comprehensive plans to overhaul the systems, and are campaigning almost as if they don't notice them.

Medicare faces insolvency by 2019. Social Security is projected to be spending more than it's collecting in taxes by 2017.

Yet both Obama and McCain offer only minor fixes — and few specifics even about the modest ideas they do float.

Bigger, bolder, more sweeping approaches are needed, and fast, say the experts.

"They're not preparing the country for sacrifice," said Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.

Click here to read the whole story.

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