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News Opinion

More comprehensive solutions needed for Social Security and Medicare

Robert Reich's op-ed ("Obama should not compromise on Social Security and Medicare" April 3) prompts me to write. Mr. Reich's prescription for these programs isn't completely off the mark. But there is a much more comprehensive solution to each.

Social Security: eliminate the cap on income subject to Social Security taxes. Then lower the rate dramatically. There is no rationale for having any cap on earned income subject to taxes in the first place. This change would dramatically increase revenue into the system without changing benefit formulas. It would be highly politically acceptable since you would be lowering tax rates. Hence: solvency.

Medicare: lower the age of eligibility for Medicare to age 55. This will increase revenue into the system while lowering expenditures relative to that revenue because 20 million new subscribers between the age of 55 and 65 will be added to the rolls. This younger relatively healthier cohort will require fewer services. Thus more revenue in, and less expenditures out. Hence: Solvency.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville

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