Resolve that DC debt gridlock

Reader Input
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The following represents my best ideas for solving the nation’s enormous deficit problems. It reflects my knowledge of Medicare funding that comes from 20 years working as a C.P.A. in contract with Medicare for the federal government. First, everyone should know that most of our future deficits will come from Medicare funding shortfalls. Social Security is easily fixable on its own and our General Fund expenditures (everything else including defense) should be easily fixable with a jobs recovery and some sane defense spending. I propose a gradual increase in Medicare payroll withholding that will keep up with healthcare cost increases. The GOP would love to shift some of the tax burden to lower-income Americans and they could also argue that it doesn’t represent a tax bracket increase. To soothe the Democrats, a low-income Medicare tax rebate would cushion any increase on the lowest earners. And the best result would be that our youngest citizens would have more skin in the game. It should mean that they would be willing to make the tough choices in Medicare spending that must be made to keep costs down. Such issues as end-of-life spending mean very little to those in their 20s or 30s, and they should be fine with cost-saving changes. The Medicare program must not become a voucher program and this would save it. Medicare Advantage should be dumped because it costs too much and the Medicare prescription program should become a generic-only program. Recipients would hardly notice that change. So, there you go. Any chance the president and Congress would consider? Probably not. Too much distrust and too many tax pledges. Maybe if Grover Norquist went home it would have a chance. Dan Dahl, CPA, Roseville