Life expectancy is currently increasing by about 1 year per decade, which is why social security is doomed.
Some people spend a third or more of their life on social security, although the male average would appear to be 12 years, which is more like 1/6th of their life expectancy, the female average is 19 years, or about 22.6% of their expected life span. This does not count the fact that everyone spends 1/6th of their life in school before they become part of the full time work force.
So the average man spends about 1/3rd of his life on government funded programs, while the average woman actually spends about half her life on government funded programs, not counting any unemployment, food stamps, or other things they may receive during "hardships".
I believe the age of eligibility for Social Security retirement should be pushed back by about another 5 years, for as large a section of the population as legally possible. This may require a constitutional amendment to enact.
Further, the pre-Bush tax levels on the wealthy need to be restored ASAP.
the size of the deficit is not understood by most people. People complain about government salaries. The amount spent on elected officials salaries is tiny compared to the deficit. The deficit spending is 10 million times larger than their salaries every year.
People complain about the amount of foreign aid we give. The deficit spending is hundreds, maybe even a thousand times larger than that amount spent on foreign aid and bribing other countries combined.
People complain about the salaries of athletes and entertainers, and rightfully so, but the deficit spending is larger than the salaries of all of these people combined, so that even if we confiscated 90% of their net income, which we probably should do anyway since they make 200 to 400 or more times more than a normal person's income, yet it would not balance the budget.
So the reality is that unless you want the entire military demolished, you will need to raise taxes AND cut social security (and probably a few other things as well). It's just not mathematically possible to balance the budget otherwise, and spending in the whole indefinitely will eventually destroy the nation.
People may complain about not getting as much SS, but if the U.S. government collapses, you won't get one dime anyway. It WILL eventually collapse if the budget isn't balanced soon.
The debt is approaching a point where it will no longer be mathematically possible to pay it back off if the budget is not balanced soon, AND start paying something on the principle, which there has never been a payment on the principle since the time of Thomas Jefferson.
If the federal debt was distributed between every man, woman and child evenly, they would EACH owe $50,800 to some combination of banks, China, Russia, and bond holders.