No Social Security Cuts

Love Barack Obama, but proposing Social Security cuts is political lunacy.

President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say…

[His budget] will embody the final compromise offer that he made to Speaker John A. Boehner late last year, before Mr. Boehner abandoned negotiations in opposition to the president’s demand for higher taxes from wealthy individuals and some corporations.

First of all, the idea that Social Security is in crisis is a complete myth. We’re looking at a bump in spending that peaks around 20 years from now, not an upward trend forever. We don’t need to drastically change the program to address this.

Second of all, people don’t have nearly enough savings and the 401K approach has been an utter failure. So we need to be looking at expanding Social Security, not cutting it.

Third, the politics are atrocious for Democrats. Democrats are the party of a strong safety net. Once the door is cracked open to some kind of sneaky Social Security cuts, all kinds of worse ideas are going to start coming down. This is the third rail of American politics, and we need to make sure it stays the third rail.

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