Category Archives: United States

The Social Security Facade

Our system of taxing the young to pay for the old needs reform to reflect 21st century realities.

“We’ve been crippled by Social Security, by Medicare … and that is the root of the problem. Entitlements. Let me be clear: You are entitled to nothing.”

These words come from Kevin’s Spacey’s character Frank Underwood, star of the Netflix political drama “House of Cards.” Harsh though they may be, they’re not without truth: America’s principal health and retirement programs for the elderly, Social Security and Medicare, are placing a massive fiscal burden on its youngest generations and crippling the country with debts that cannot be paid.

While the official national debt sits at a staggering $18 trillion, taking future entitlement spending obligations into account pushes the number beyond the conceivable: $200 trillion. That’s 14 zeroes, over 10 times the official number. The Social Security trust fund is projected to reach insolvency in 19 years, and Medicare will be unable to meet its projected obligations in 15 years. Young Americans are stuck paying into programs that, absent reform, will only partially be there for their retirements – if they’re around at all.

To cover the ballooning costs of these programs, workers in 2050 would have to pay nearly a third of their hard-earned income just to cover payroll tax obligations – over twice the rate paid today. This and other taxes would make it impossible for many workers to save for their own retirements.

Read the full article at U.S. News and World Report.

The Party Line: Teaching to the times

Recently, President Obama came out to confess that rigorous standardized tests are not always the solution to providing a better education. While this is a positive step on the administration’s part, there are still miles to go for meaningful education reform.

This entire conversation is predicated on the idea that there is a need for the federal government to play a role in education. Certainly, we do not want clueless masses running the country in the future. Without question, a workforce prepared to face the challenges of a globalized economy will need to be trained.

Once we establish what we want to accomplish, it becomes a matter of who implements it. Many profess the desire for education to become more and more focused on the individual, all the while demanding that a group of central planners miles away lay down the law for them.

Read the rest on The Hofstra Chronicle here.

With drones, innovators should be free to experiment

Around the world, the number of registered commercial drone operators is rapidly increasing. Unfortunately, few of them are in the United States thanks to an outdated and taxing regulatory scheme that has failed to keep pace with technological innovation.

The biggest impediment for a wider and more robust commercial drone, or unmanned aerial systems/vehicles (UAS/UAV), environment is twofold: public perception and regulatory hurdles. While public perception will have to be left to civil society and social norms to address, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates U.S. airspace, could be doing a great deal more to catalyze the nascent commercial drone market – mainly, by doing less.

Read the rest on Inside Policy here.