Ok, so we have all figured out that social security is and will continue to be a big budget buster, and will probably be bankrupt long before yours truly is ever eligible for it. So obviously something has to change.
Back when social security was first passed and enacted, it was probably a good thing. Let's make sure Granny can eat, pay the basic bills, etc. I'd be willing to bet that retirement was something that probably wasn't considered (unless you were very wealthy and could afford to not work) and people surely didn't save for it and invest.
Well, now a good number of people have at least a 401k and probably multiple other investments. Retirement and the necessary savings are carefully thought out. A good number are millionaires at retirement (and need to be unless they plan on dying soon after retirement). Now, please explain to me why these "rich" people need a free check from the government. Yes, social security was designed to be retirement savings and your money was earmarked for you. Ha. What a bunch of crap that has turned out to be.
Here's an example. An acquaintance of ours, who will remain nameless, sold a lot of the prime real estate in town to developers, who built things like Walmart, Target (with huge shopping center), a high school, a big church, several restaurants, etc. He turned around and invested his MILLIONS of dollars and lives off the interest. He just built a mansion in a new subdivision. The kicker in all of this? He collects his social security check every month. Now please explain why he needs this free check?
So, if the government wants to fix social security, people like our nameless acquaintance need to be cut off. It needs to be turned into a need-based program. After that, get rid of the Social Security Administration bureaucracy. Let the state HHS people handle getting people signed up and verified eligible. Then you get free (to the feds) labor, or at least share the cost with the states. Just these 2 steps should save the federal government billions if not more each year.
Now this rant has nothing to do with the disability side of social security. Leave it leave it.
Since Medicare "taxes" are taken out with Social Security, I'll include my fixes for that here as well.
Medicare should be the provider of last resort. Here is who should qualify to receive Medicare coverage (assumes that the recipient would be old enough):
1. Can't afford to pay for any private coverage.
2. Has health concerns or issues that make that person uninsurable to the private insurance companies.
Now, if both conditions are met (or just the first one), then the person applying would receive Medicare coverage as it is now (as crappy as that is). If only the second one is met, and the applicant has the money to pay for it, then he or she should pay the premiums for their coverage. If the person has private coverage through their employer when they retire, then that should be kept (with the retiree paying the cost).
Also, the fraud that is rampant in the Medicare system needs to be cleaned up. That should be a no brainer.
When determining eligibility for either Social Security or Medicare, cost of living needs to be factored in. See previous post. $40,000 per year might be a comfortable living wage in some places, but require food stamps and other assistance in others.