When the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs release their annual reports, one of the first thing folks look for is whether the life of the trust funds that finance these retirement security programs have been extended or reduced. Well, the reports came out on Monday, and the key takeaway from where I sit is that these remain critically important programs whose future can and should be ensured by policy actions designed to enable both programs to continue to provide retirement security for generations to come. As with so much else in our fiscal and economic landscape these days, the best thing to do in the near term is everything we can to get the recession behind us and get back on a stronger growth path.
The grim truth at the center of the debt ceiling and budget debate is that American wage earners have been played for fools and now are about to be victimized yet again -- by President Obama, by Congress, by our political class, by the media, by Washington's policy intellectuals who all have observed omertá about the coming cuts. This is a harsh judgment. But it is one that conforms to our sad reality. The game of debt roulette going on in the Capitol not only plays fast and loose with the solvency of the United States; it also has coerced the country into silent acquiescence in the rollback of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century.