The 2006 Social Security Trustees Report found that the estimated year in which the program will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll tax revenues is still 2017 – just 11 short years from now. But the estimated year in which the program’s so-called “Trust Fund” – actually, paper IOUs Congress writes itself – will be completely exhausted is 2040, one year earlier than projected in 2005. Additionally, the 2006 report states that over the next 75- year period, the Social Security program will require another $4.6 trillion to pay all scheduled benefits. That amount is $600 billion higher than estimated last year.
Despite the certain and soon date when Social Security becomes insolvent, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated, “Today’s report confirms that, despite White House scare tactics, Social Security remains sound for decades to come.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) added, “The report reinforces one basic reality – in its current form, Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2040 and even after that will be able to pay 74 percent of benefits. This finding flatly contradicts Republican efforts to manufacture a ‘crisis’ in Social Security…”
This takes “They think we’re stupid” to a whole new level.
The congressional liberals’ media cronies are also engaged in crisis denial, and offer the same prescription they offer every ailing government program – increase taxes.
Editors of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune argued, “A modest increase in the Social Security retirement age, for example, coupled with a modest increase in the cap on taxable earnings would extend Social Security’s solvency significantly.” A New York Times editorial echoed, “Phasing in a modest package of benefit cuts and tax increases over the next several decades is the best way to ensure that the system won’t come up short a generation from now.” For media liberals, modesty – to the tune of a $4.6 trillion tax increase – is apparently the best policy.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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