Tag Archive for 'Social Security'

Small Business Advocate Poll:Small business owners will make tough decisions

Twentieth century promises made by our government are coming due in 21st century reality and there is a problem: These entitlements are not sustainable financially long-term. That means adjustments will be made in one of two ways: 1) Proactively and soon, in a planned way that attempts to make the programs sustainable; or 2) In default, several years from now, when they run out of money.

We wanted to know how our audience felt about this scenario, so last week, we asked this question:

“Should we start making entitlements - Social Security, Medicare, etc. - self-sustaining now, even if it adjusts your own expectations?” Here’s what we learned.

Two percent said “No, the government should fulfill its promises, and four percent were undecided. But 94% said, “Yes, better to manage the inevitable than wait for the collapse.

See?! This is what happens when you ask small business owners about a problem. They evaluate it, get to the problem, take the steps necessary to fix it and move on to the next issue.

Yet another example of why I say if you want to fix America ask a small business owner how to do it.


Click here to download or listen to more of what I have to say on how small businesses would solve the entitlement issues.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

What do you think of tax increases to support Social Security and Medicare?

The Question:

In order to make Social Security and Medicare solvent, tax increases, means testing, and reduced benefits are being considered. What do you think?

62% - If it will make the social programs solvent, make the changes

38% - Find another way to fix these programs

The Commentary:

We asked this question: In order to make Social Security and Medicare solvent, tax increases, means testing, and reduced benefits are being considered. What do you think?

A little more than six of ten or our respondents said, “If it will make the social programs solvent, make the changes.” The rest, 38%, went the other way, with this answer, “Find another way to fix these programs.”

As I’ve been saying in response how America is going to get its financial house in order, there will be pain. The question is do we want to experience that pain while we have some control over the solution, or wait and experience it when another entity – a holder of our debt, global competitor, or both – make the decision for us.

Be sure to take this week’s poll! Click HERE!

So, what steps have to be taken to save Social Security and Medicare? Recently on my show, I talked with Bob Jennings, President of Lean Management Group and co-author of The Adversity Paradox, about  reforming retirement entitlements, raising the eligibility age, means testing, and increased payments from participants.

To listen to our conversation, click HERE.

Making hard financial decisions

Congress and the Obama Administration are in a great debate over our current financial condition of deficit spending. For several years, the U.S. government has been spending more than it takes in, which for governments, businesses and households alike, is a scenario that cannot go on forever.

In order to appreciate the budget balancing task, it’s important to understand that the federal budget is made up of two key financial commitments:  discretionary spending, which Congress has to renew each year, and mandatory spending, which renews automatically. Social security, Medicare, Medicaid and certain national defense items comprise mandatory spending.

The mandatory stuff amounts to about 60% of the annual federal budget, with about 35% for discretionary and 5% to pay interest on the national debt. But about half of the discretionary budget is discretionary defense spending, which only leaves about 18% of annual federal spending for everything else.

So, there you have it:  The easiest part of the debate is over less than 20% of the federal budget. Since all of this piece of the pie can’t be eliminated, you should be getting the picture that in order to move the deficit cutting needle enough to reverse the current deficit trend, hard decisions will have to be made in defense and entitlements. And that’s the hard part of the debate.

But debate it and fix it we must. Because, while the U.S. still has more assets than liabilities, that won’t last long if we continue to spend more than we take in.

We wanted to know what you thought about this issue, so last week we asked this question in the Newsletter and on our website: Funding for “entitlements,” like Social Security and Medicare, are a major part of the U.S. government’s unsustainable long-term budget deficit. Would you be willing to include changes to these programs to reduce the long-term deficit?  The results were impressive.

Those who believe everything should be put on the debate table represented 83% of our respondents. Those who think entitlements should be off the table came in at just 11%, with the remaining 6% saying they were not sure.

One thing is for sure: The question is not whether difficult financial decisions will be made - that is coming, sooner rather than later. The question is whether Americans can gin up the discipline and leadership to make the hard decisions ourselves before our non-American creditors have to do it for us.

Based on our poll results, the electorate seems to be more disciplined than our political leaders.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio - and on the Internet.

Recently on The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with my friend and Brain Trust Member, Rich Galen, publisher of Mullings.com and talking head of the Republican persuasion,  and Ted Fishman, author of China, Inc. and Shock of Gray, about our current budget crisis. Click on the links below, take a few minutes to listen and leave your thoughts.

Who caused America’s current budget crisis? with Rich Galen

Has the U.S. debt become a national security issue? with Ted Fishman

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