Arnold Kling is very analytical, and also very wrong in my estimation. The major problem with the analysis can be spouted in short Sentences. Politicians never stipulated any limitations on the underwriting of Social Security, and economists will not discuss introduction of those limitations. It remains exactly these limitations which will save the highly successful Social Security system. It is Why I am writing this Post today.
The first stipulation I would make is that the Social Security system functions well, Medicare does not! This Country should have introduced a comprehensive health care system a long time ago. Having a health care system solely devoted to the most expensive medically-treated segment of the Population without recourse to the Savings from universal premiums could be accepted only in America; no one else is quite so Stupid! The addition of Medicaid only makes the ridiculous somewhat idiotic; including only Those who pay no premiums at all!
Maintaining the link between Social Security and Medicare will result in every Social Security Account eventually exceeding the level of taxation paid into it, all without any real Interest being paid on the funds in the interim. We should advise a singular, uniform, unit monthly payment as benefit for all Social Security beneficiaries. A Statement here being that this benefit should not exceed the highest benefit level paid for Unemployment Insurance over the same Period; something to do with equal levels of labor added. Remember that saying that someone will not spend Us into debt as fast as someone else does not sound like a viable proposition.
The second major element structuring Medicare if retained by Social Security is the sharp limitation of benefits to be drawn any given year; I would suggest a maximum of $30,000 per year, with Supplemental Insurance on SS benefits entailed by law to cover up to an equal amount. Did anyone notice I said nothing about What insurance companies can charge for premium for this Coverage? I feel such a program with premium overages would limit the degree and type of medical care given over the long-run, without any undue amount of regulation by government. A like amount should be introduced for Medicaid, and tell One and All that it is time to search for that purported Charity no one can find. Doctors, Clinics, and Hospitals would quickly adapt to the new matrix, where their prime Patients did not pay more, and so they would have to lower Rates to acquire the poorer Patients; there might even be advertising campaigns to attract Patients.
This is How One approaches a discussion of the Social Security system, but it seems only I are really capable of discussing the subject on this level. We will never get anywhere until We begin to deal with the fundamentals of the Problem. lgl