The issues in today's news are Tea Party issues, American issues. They are not left or right or the property of one party or another. It is simply fiscal reality that needs to be dealt with. This past April the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees produced their annual report. What follows is an excerpt from their summary.
Lawmakers should not delay addressing the long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare. If they take action sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.
Social Security and Medicare are the two largest federal programs, accounting for 36 percent of federal expenditures in fiscal year 2011. Both programs will experience cost growth substantially in excess of GDP growth in the coming decades due to aging of the population and, in the case of Medicare, growth in expenditures per beneficiary exceeding growth in per capita GDP.
Excerpted from the government's summary report. http://www.ssa.gov/oact/TRSUM/index.html