White House: Social Security Should Be Off Limits In “Fiscal Cliff” Talks, But Won’t Show Their Plan
Other than raising taxes and gutting the military, is there anything Team Obama is willing to discuss? They’ve already shrieked that Obamacare is off limits, even though it is another in a long line of entitlement programs that can’t be paid for
(CBS News) It appears another issue of disagreement has surfaced in regard to the negotiations over the so-called “fiscal cliff”.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Social Security is one entitlement program that should be addressed on a “separate track.”
“We should address the drivers of the deficit and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit,” Carney told reporters today. The senior retirement program is solvent for another 21 years, at which time recipients could see a reduction in benefits.
Social Security accounts for one third of federal spending, and the pool of people paying in to the program shrinks every year. Back in 1950 the ration of workers to benefit recipients was 5.1-1. In 2009 it is 3-1. It’s estimated that by 2030 it will be 2-1, but it could actually be 1-1 or even more recipients than workers. And Cox and Archer point out
As of the most recent Trustees’ report in April, the net present value of the unfunded liability of Medicare was $42.8 trillion. The comparable balance sheet liability for Social Security is $20.5 trillion.
What is on the table? Who knows, because the White House refuses to release a plan
After a reporter asked how President Obama was planning to engage in the messaging war over the “fiscal cliff,” White House Press Secretary said that he didn’t want to “ruin the fun” of fiscal cliff negotiations. …
“It would ruin the fun, if I gave you all the details now,” Carney said with a smile.
Can you imagine the media response were Tony Snow or Dana Perino to give that answer during the Bush years? Apparently Team Obama thinks this is a game. But, does anyone think they actually have a plan? Remember, this is the guy who wasn’t bothering to meet with his economic panel. The guy who commissioned a big plan (Simpson-Bowles) then immediately blew it off. Who said “the private sector is doing fine.” The guy who put his big plan on a post it note.
The GOP should counter Obama’s talking points with a real plan that would include $3 in spending cuts now for ever $1 in tax increases later, put Obama on the hook.