Barry, My Liege :
Social Security and Medicare are the most successful government programs of all time. And, we cannot cut these programs and expect economic recovery and job growth at the same time.
They have achieved the goals of making old age for United States citizens a happy time instead of a time for terror.
Not only that, but the economic impact of the programs is considerable ; any reduction in these programs will have a dramatic and immediate impact on GDP and job creation.
Here are a few facts about Social Security from Roberto Gallardo and Al Myles in Daily Yonder [http://www.dailyyonder.com/economic-impact-social-security/2011/12/18/3649] :
Social Security supports 8.4 million jobs and makes annual payments to recipients of about $1.2 trillion. 51 million people receive checks from Social Security - that's about 15.7% of the of the total population.
Gallardo and Myles have calculated that a 5% reduction in Social Security payments will reduce GDP by $63 billion, reduce employment by 419,000 jobs and reduce federal tax collections by $7.8 billion.
While there may be an argument in favor of adjusting the formulae used in the programs, it is clear that significant reductions must be prevented in order to secure recovery and growth.
Your faithful servant,