Social Security and Medicare
Kevin Drum at Political Animal
opines on why the Republicans are pushing Social Security "reform", but ignoring Medicare, which is in much worse shape. He notes that solving the problems with Medicare is going to be a mess and needs to happen much sooner.
The people doing this have little concern for Social Security, any payments they might be entitled to will amount to "lunch money" in their retirement plans. Most will be receiving generous taxpayer-funded retirements and/or are already wealthy people: nobody runs for Congress because of the paycheck. From their point of view, Social Security is an employee expense that they would like to do without. Removing the cap on Social Security taxes while maintaining the cap on benefits would not only fund the system for the foreseeable future, it might enable the rate to come down.
Medicare, on the other hand, is something that they and their friends do use. Medicare will reduce the cost of their medical insurance significantly, so they approve of it.
The problems with Medicare were, to a large extent, exacerbated by the actions of the Republicans in their Medicare Drug Bill. The drug coverage was a nice idea, but they shouldn't have removed the possibility of negotiating for lower prices. In the free market buyers and sellers negotiate, in the Republican market consumers pay whatever the corporations want.