Saturday, December 10, 2011

Accentuating Insolvency

Thumbs Up for the House Bill | Power Line: "But there is something more serious going on as well. If the payroll tax holiday extension passes–and both parties are now on record as favoring it–the dam will have been breached, and Social Security will be massively insolvent, not at some point in the future, but today. Many liberals have argued–I think correctly–that this is a decisive step that will probably doom the program in anything like its present form. Inevitably, with revenues grossly inadequate to pay benefits to all retirees, Social Security will be means tested. In other words, it will become a welfare program that provides a safety net to the indigent elderly. Will today’s young workers be willing to pay for forty years into a program from which they anticipate that they will get no benefit when they retire–unless, of course, they are planning on being indigent? No way. The consensus that has sustained Social Security will be broken, and the program will be just as popular as other welfare programs; which is to say, not very popular at all. It will be the beginning of the end of the welfare state as we now know it. (That trend, by the way, is prefigured in another feature of the House Republican bill, which would begin the means testing of Medicare.)

Is that prediction overstated? Perhaps. But no one doubts that the entitlement crisis is coming, and I don’t see how the contemplated holiday extension can do anything but accelerate the process. Moreover, it puts the federal government on a path toward accentuating insolvency, not–as in the past–mitigating it."
I'm fascinated to see how O Duce will spin this one. Mostly just that the so-called journalists won't report what's actually in the bill. It will somehow be all about killing orphans or something completely ridiculous. And the sheep will believe it of course.