As do Telegraph and Seattle Pioneer, I rarely miss reading The New Yorker. But somehow I missed this piece by former TMF-er James Surowiecki when it appeared in December. It's about the "Social Security and Medicare are doomed!" meme. Definitely worth reading.www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2012/12/24/121224ta_talk_su...Excerpt: << Projections show that, owing to an aging population and rising health-care costs, the Medicare Trust Fund will become insolvent in 2024 and Social Security in 2033. The image of empty coffers is a powerful one: half of all Americans aged between eighteen and twenty-nine don’t think that Social Security will exist when they retire. That’s a bizarre thing to believe about an important government program. No one ever says, “I don’t think the U.S. Army will be there when I get old” or talks about the Defense Department “going broke.” We assume that there will always be a need for the military, and that we’ll end up paying the taxes that are necessary to fund it. But, because Social Security and Medicare have always been self-supporting, it’s easy to believe that they’ll just vanish if the trust funds dry up. This isn’t the case. >>
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