Let me refresh your memory.
The above video (via The Lonely Conservative) is from that infamous moment during George W Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address where Democrats enthusiastically applauded their successful torpedoing of Social Security reform. Bush at the time, as you no doubt recall, advocated a partial privatization of the system that would have allowed individuals the option of creating investment accounts; the Democrats, as you also no doubt recall, fought this idea tooth and nail because it would have reduced the amount of Social Security ‘trust fund’ money that could be raided for social engineering. And the Democrats succeeded: no reform, nothing was done, and the can was kicked once again down the road.
We are now “down the road.”
To summarize the Washington Post article: Social Security will be 46 billion in the hole this year – five years before this was expected to happen. That is to say, benefits paid out this year will exceed revenue brought in by 46 billion dollars; and that number will only accelerate, thanks to the payroll tax break that was one of the last remaining alternatives to actually cutting spending. And there’s no actual money in the trust fund to cushion the blow: that money was turned in Treasury bonds years ago, which means that it’s a glorified IOU. And, of course, nobody in Washington is really eager to take on retirees, who are adamant that nothing be changed. The Republicans don’t want to burden the economy with more taxes and the Democrats hate the idea of cutting spending except for the military.
Summary of the WaPo summary: we’re screwed. Well… old people are screwed: I didn’t really expect to have Social Security in the first place, so I’m not going to miss it.
…And I think that I’m going to end this post here, because I don’t think that anybody really wants me to play Cassandra. Including me. Suffice it to say that the answers to all of this are all grim.
PS: Still laughing, Democrats?
Via The Morning Jolt.