Everyone generally agrees that the cost of Medicare and Social Security is set to explode as the Baby Boomers retire. The Parties have different plans for how to keep expenditures in Medicare down (thus far neither is really talking specifics about SS), and now everyone is coming out with their own Proposal To Do X and so forth.
Debates over privatized SS accounts, Rationing boards, and retirement ages aside; why shouldn't we look at means-testing the entitlements? It strikes me that both programs were put into place in order to protect seniors from the ravages of loss of income and increased living costs - both are meant to save them from poverty. Why not allow them to function so? the counterargument that otherwise the programs won't receive support strikes me as a cynical degradation of the American people who are thus assumed to be evil trolls - willing to screw over their grandparents if there isn't something in it for them. Certainly I don't see such an argument gaining much popular appeal. As we approach an era of seeming tightened budgets, low growth, and high unemployment; why shouldn't we seek to reduce expenditures in ways that nonetheless allow us to provide for the poor amongst us? We can provide for those who need it, while saving expenditures by cutting only for those who don't.