Saving Social Security

Today’s Washington Post has an article reporting on the vague proposals Obama and McCain have made for saving Social Security.

An interesting twist on this debate is that some Democrats prefer to ignore this problem altogether (blogged about previously here). They get annoyed anytime someone in their own party uses the “crisis” word in describing the system. Excerpt:

Some Democrats are questioning Obama’s decision to address Social Security at all. The program is expected to bring in less in taxes than it disburses in benefits sometime in the next decade, although the Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that interest on the program’s bond holdings will keep it from running a deficit until at least 2041.

“From the standpoint of the Democratic Party, I would think it would make the most sense to leave it alone,” said Dean Baker, an Obama supporter and co-director of the D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It’s not an immediate, pressing issue.”

Saying the system is not in crisis is fine if they can back it up with facts, but the argument above is simply false: there are no “bond holdings” in the Social Security Trust Fund!


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