Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
A few days ago I wrote about the perennial popularity of raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare. It's a bad idea that doesn't save very much money, is savagely unfair to the poor, and in the case of Medicare, does nothing to rein in cost growth, which is our biggest problem. But it's an easy sound bite, so it sticks around forever even though there are loads of better ways of addressing entitlement spending.
Here's a nice little chart from CBPP (based on data from the Kaiser Family Foundation) that illustrates this for Medicare. Here's what it shows:
This is just a bad, bad, zombie idea. It might be worth arguing over the methodology here if the numbers were big enough to matter, but they aren't. Even in the best case, raising the Medicare eligibility age would have an insignificant effect on the federal budget.
The more time we spend on this, the less time we're spending on ideas that might actually accomplish something. It's time to move on.