January 25 2011
SOTU: Prez Won't Embrace Social Security Reform
The word is out that President Obama is not going to embrace Social Security reform-recommended by his very own deficit reduction panel-tonight in the SOTU.
Two of the recommendations were raising the age of retirement and making some reductions in the benefits. I am personally disappointed that the president won't call for these two measures, and here's why:
I know none of the whippersnappers here at IWF expect to see a dime of Social Security, but, by golly, I have been expecting it. These two cuts would have increased the longevity of Social Security and enabled us to get back some of the money we put in the system. But the president has made a political calculation.
Veronique de Rugy comments on National Review's The Corner:
Democrats are happy. Taxpayers, on the other hand, should start worrying, stop counting on the promises made about future benefits, and start saving money for future increases in taxes. For one thing, by refusing to reform Social Security, President Obama is guaranteeing automatic benefit cuts of about 22 percent for everyone on the program in 2037 (when the trust funds run dry) without having had retirees plan for a replacement income. On the other hand, if in this distant future, Congress does what it does best-cave to special interests (in this case future seniors who won't be happy to see their benefits cut)-then taxpayers will have to pick up the tab. ...
By refusing to reform Social Security today, the president is telling the American people that he chooses the road to more taxes, more borrowing, or unanticipated benefit cuts for seniors already in the program.
Veronique links to a Mercatus study of Social Security she coauthored. I plan to read it-just as soon as I find the courage.