Social Security and Medicare: Troubling math, tough politics

              FILE - The Dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is visible in a reflection on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 23, 2023. Social Security won't be able to pay out its promised benefits in about a dozen years, while Medicare won't be able to do so in just five years. Economists have done the projections and they say both programs will drive the national debt higher in the decades to come, forcing teeth-gritting choices for the next generation of lawmakers. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
              FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks to reporters on Feb. 6, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. It seems like no one wants to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, including McCarthy, who has declared cuts to the programs off the table in negotiations to raise the federal debt limit. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
              FILE - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., surrounded by House Democrats, signs the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 during a bill enrollment ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)
              FILE - Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., heads to a classified briefing on China, at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 15, 2023. Last year, Scott, laid out a plan to require Congress to reconsider all federal laws every five years — leading to criticism by President Joe Biden that Social Security and Medicare would be cut. After several months of flak, Scott on Friday revised his plan to specifically exclude Social Security and Medicare. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
            FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to protect Social Security and Medicare and lower healthcare costs, Feb. 9, 2023, at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. It seems like no one wants to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, including Biden, who is already telling voters that his upcoming federal budget proposal will "defend and strengthen" the programs. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)