Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Harry Reid's chooses demagoguery over seriousness

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put forward his marker on what he is willing to do about our nation's entitlement crisis - absolutely nothing.
Cuts to Social Security are “off the table,” Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a video being circulated by a liberal activist group, making Mr. Reid one of the most high profile Democrats to take a stand on the issue.

Of course, his remarks imply that a major revamping of Social Security was actually on the table.

“As long as I’m the majority leader, I’m going to do everything within my legislative powers to prevent privatizing or eliminating Social Security,” Mr. Reid said in the video for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “Simply say, ‘It’s off the table.’ We’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of senior citizens.”
Reid simply denied that there is any problem.
Mr. Reid described the fund as the “most successful social program in the history of the world.”

“They’re using scare tactics saying the program is in crisis and on the verge of bankruptcy,” he said. “That is simply not true.”

The Congressional Budget Office predicted last week that Social Security will post $600 billion in deficits during the next decade. If nothing changes, the fund will be bankrupt by 2037, according to the CBO.
This is what the CBO said just last week about the state of Social Security.
Social Security will post nearly $600 billion in deficits over the next decade as the economy struggles to recover and millions of baby boomers stand at the brink of retirement, according to new congressional projections.

This year alone, Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in retirement, disability and survivor benefits, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That figure swells to $130 billion when a new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included, though Congress has promised to repay any lost revenue from the tax cut.

Last year, Social Security posted its first deficit since the program was last overhauled in the 1980s. The CBO said at the time that Social Security would post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into deficits in 2016.

But the new projections show nothing but red ink until the Social Security trust funds are exhausted in 2037.
Analysts often say that fixing Social Security is easy compared to the problems in Medicare. But not if Harry Reid has anything to say about it.