Conservatives are regularly ridiculed for pointing out the insolvency of Social Security. I remember Harry Reid claiming that anyone who doubts the sustainability of Social Security must be a radical.
Well, now the Congressional Budget Office is finally hinting at the truth.
From CNS News:
The United States faces “fundamental fiscal challenges” stemming from the growth in spending for Social Security and major health care programs,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told a gathering in Washington on Tuesday.
The rising cost of those programs leaves Americans with “unpleasant” choices to make, but the sooner they’re made, the better, he said:
“So we have a choice as a society to either scale back those programs relative to what is promised under current law; or to raise tax revenue above its historical average to pay for the expansion of those programs; or to cut back on all other spending even more sharply than we already are,” Elmendorf said.
“And we haven’t actually decided as a society…what we’re going to do. But some combination of those three choices will be needed.”
This is pretty amazing. The fact that the director of the CBO is saying this stuff really proves that the financial meltdown is in sight and there is a need to stop denying the Ponzi scheme that we have lived in for the last few decades. He not only warned of Social Security but also Medicare/Medicaid and Obamacare.
Elmendorf even admits that the government has spent money that was promised to retirees:
He noted that many Americans have paid Social Security taxes for decades, expecting to get benefits in retirement. But the money people paid years ago was used to fund other government activities.
So, “If one wants to change those programs, then giving people a lot of warning about that — those changes coming – would be especially important,” he said
Another statement he made makes me wonder about our jobless “recovery.”
And a high level of debt will ultimately crowd out capital investment and slow accumulation of capital and slow the growth of wages and incomes.
Why should we think that is something off in the future? It seems quite likely that some of that is already happening now.
Elmendorf says we need to make a decision sooner, far in advance. If we want to cut social security benefits we need to give people time to adjust so that those about to retire don’t face a sudden change in expectations. They need to be able to plan accordingly.
But you know as well as I do that no one is going to do anything about it. Any candidate who even pretends to want to reduce social security will automatically lose to the candidate who calls him an extremist and who insists Social Security must not be touched. So when the changes come, it will be due to a financial catastrophe. No one will have any warning.
Then we will learn what it feels like to go over the edge of a “fiscal cliff.”