THE BLOG
07/19/2011 05:51 pm ET | Updated Sep 18, 2011

More Washington Doublespeak on Social Security

Today the so-called 'Gang of Six' published a draft report that acknowledges the solvency of Social Security, but incorporates it into a deficit reduction plan anyway.

This latest bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit says on one hand that it will 'reform Social Security on a separate track, isolated from deficit reduction.' On the other hand if 'Social Security reform' gets sixty votes in the Senate, then it would be combined into a single bill with the deficit reduction plan. If the Social Security bill does not get 60 votes the deficit reduction bill is 'vitiated' or made invalid.

So an undefined Social Security 'reform' starts out on a separate track, joins the track of the deficit reduction bill, which lacking 60 votes becomes a train wreck.

Why are members of Congress and the Administration continuing to mix the '75 year solvency' of Social Security with the deficit, when Social Security, by the report of its own trustees, has enough resources to pay 100% of benefits through 2036, without any changes whatsoever? Who or what is driving this effort to simultaneously insist that Social Security reform is 'isolated from deficit reduction' and that deficit reduction depends upon Social Security reform?