Means-Testing And The Retirement Age

Those two measures to restrain the fiscal threat of entitlements have the most public support:

More than 60% of poll respondents supported reducing Social Security and Medicare payments to wealthier Americans. And more than half favored bumping the retirement age to 69 by 2075. The age to receive full benefits is 66 now and is scheduled to rise to 67 in 2027.

If you combined that with aggressive enforcement of successful cost-control pilots in the ACA, there might be a sliver of hope. But note:

Tea party supporters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, declared significant cuts to Social Security "unacceptable."

Here's the Republican dilemma:

More than seven in 10 tea party backers feared GOP lawmakers would not go far enough in cutting spending. But at the same time, more than half of all Americans feared Republicans would go too far.

One awaits the Republican primary candidate honest enough to tell the broader public the practical truth: that unless we raise some taxes, entitlements will have to be cut far more deeply than any of you want.