April 2006

April 28, 2006 9:38AM

Entitlement Solution

Do you think that the entitlement crisis is difficult to solve? Think again. I write

The solution, as I have argued for several years, is to raise the age of government dependency for workers now in their 30’s and 40’s. This is a painless solution, because (a) it does not affect anyone who currently receives or is counting on government entitlements and (b) it does not really affect people now in their 30’s and 40’s.

For people in their 30’s and 40’s today, the age of government dependency is only a promise. As of now, projected entitlement benefits to young workers are only promises that, under conservative assumptions, the government will be unable to meet. If the assumptions pan out, then the actual benefits that young workers receive when they finally retire probably will have to be reduced. It seems to me that young workers are no worse off if their promised benefits are reduced now (by raising the age of government dependency) than if their actual benefits are reduced when they reach their late 60’s.

But then, hey, I’m not a politician. And politicians say that the age of government dependency is a third rail that no one can touch.