From the Post: “Since his reelection, Mr. Obama has fueled a campaign-style effort to pressure Republicans to give ground on taxes. That’s fine, but it won’t be enough. At some point, he has to prepare the American people — and his own supporters most of all — for the ‘hard decisions’ required to put the country on a sound financial footing. That means spending cuts, it means entitlement reform, it means compromise, it means a balanced solution that will please neither House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Only one person is in a position to make it happen.”
And USA Today:
Democrats, of course, have a political interest in fudging the issue to keep Social Security out of negotiations over the year-end “fiscal cliff” of abrupt tax hikes and spending cuts. “I am not going to be part of having Social Security as part of these talks relating to this deficit,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters this month.
Seriously? How exactly do Democrats expect Republicans to bend on their destructive refusal to raise taxes if Democrats won’t bend on their destructive refusal to trim unsustainable benefit programs?
Social Security represents more than one-fifth of federal spending, much too big to ignore. The likeliest fixes are well known. These include raising the cap on income subject to the payroll tax, tying cost-of-living adjustments more closely to actual inflation, and bumping up the retirement age for able-bodied future retirees. The sooner these changes are made, the less painful they will be.
But shoring up the program starts with politicians telling the truth about how Social Security works. That’s something the White House and congressional Democrats apparently think the public can’t handle.
Can’t handle and can’t understand, as a sure-to-be-forthcoming comment from our own Dollar Bill will illustrate.