Policymakers should use the “fiscal cliff” and discussions over deficit reduction to fundamentally rethink the nature of U.S. entitlements. Current programs offer unsustainable benefit schedules not because old-age social insurance is not affordable per se, but because the type of social insurance provided in the U.S. involves graduated benefit structures designed for a different demographic environment. Huge savings could be gained by focusing social insurance programs on the core function of guarding against poverty and a lack of access to medical care in old age.
This is interesting. --ts