Friday, March 27, 2015

A Modest Proposal

(Editor's Note: tongue is planted firmly in cheek here.)

It has come to my attention that Congress has passed a bill drastically altering Medicare for those people 55 and under, who will not enjoy the generous benefits that their payroll taxes will continue to pay out to current retirees for years to come.  Even a strict fiscal conservative like myself can understand why Gen Xers and Millenials might feel as if they are getting a raw deal.  At the same time, however, we need to cut costs and end our nation's wasteful entitlement culture.

I have a modest proposal to do both, and to drastically reduce the 47% of "takers" in American society.  We can do this without raising the retirement age or providing new jobs.  For too long we have been beholden to the same old politics as usual, and solutions left over from bygone times.  We should break with the past with a bold, innovative, and disruptive plan.

For too long we have extended life expectancy without asking whether such a task is actually worthwhile.  People live to longer and longer ages, costing the government more and more money.  I am not sure that people are doing all that much in their twilight years, so we are massively subsidizing tired old people to sit around alone and feel miserably alone.  That does not sound like an efficient use of resources, does it?  All that tax money going for medical treatments to octogenerians could be added into the economy if our Job Creators could afford to buy more yachts and mansions!

So I propose this: at age 65 all Americans will henceforth be offered a deal.  If they so wish, they may terminate their life, and in return their families would receive a lump sum payment of $65,000, tax free.  With that money children and grandchildren could go to college, spouses would be able to keep their homes, and most importantly, the government could save a whole lot of money.  The Social Security trust fund would be stocked and Medicare costs would plummet!  Assisted terminations would take place at facilities managed by private contractors, so this plan adds no new jobs to the federal payroll.  In fact, by lowering the number of people in the two biggest programs, it would actually decrease the number of bureaucrats!

You might think that few would take the government up on their offer, but you underestimate how few people have any real money to live on in retirement.  With pensions being scrapped and wages stagnant, more Americans than ever will be facing a grim end to their lives.  Instead of making them suffer through those years, why not let them die, and do something to make their families happy and secure in the bargain?  "But this is morally repugnant!" you might say.  I ask you, is it not more morally wrong that we must mortgage our future because our elders refuse to spend our nation's tax money more efficiently?  Is it not a moral outrage that 47% of our country are "takers"?  What kind of moral example does that leave to future generations?

I ask you, why are we letting disruptive practices bring glorious progress to the rest of American society, but leaving death off limits?  Valuing life is such a 20th century way of thinking, it's time to think outside of the box in innovative, data-driven ways about the new normal we live in and how to best adjust to it.  It's also a lot more cost effective than the fanciful notion that every citizen deserves to live into old age.


Terry said...

I sadly fear that you'll be surprised how soon this becomes an actual plank in the Republican party's platform.

Oblio said...

Heh... "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!"