Social Security and Medicare are headed toward disaster, and that’s a good thing, Robert J. Samuelson writes in Newsweek. The programs are expected to run out of money by 2017 and 2037, respectively, and when they do, politicians will have to make painful, necessary reforms. “The counterintuitive lesson: a ‘crisis’ is just what we need,” writes Samuelson.
Facing a nearly $46 trillion Social Security and Medicare shortfall over the next 75 years, Washington will likely have to raise the age of retirement, cut health care spending, and slash benefits to the wealthy. But President Obama, despite acknowledging the problem, continues a policy of procrastination. "Like General Motors and Chrysler, we continue self-defeating habits because we can—temporarily."