Tag Archives: social security

David Davenport: The Elephant In The Policy Room


You would never know this listening to presidential candidates but Social Security, in crisis mode for a while, will begin paying out more than it takes in next year. The reserve fund will be depleted in 16 years, meaning seniors would face 20 percent cuts in their payments.

Roughly half of Americans rely on Social Security for most of their retirement income. And with baby boomers retiring and living longer, the numbers will only get worse.

While Democrats talk about welfare and socialism, and Republicans love their tax cuts, we still need to pay for the entitlements we already have such as Social Security and Medicare.

Fixing this will take several things Washington hardly does anymore: exercise fiscal discipline, debate and deliberate, and come to some kind of bipartisan agreement.

Party line vote—the new normal in Washington—will not do the trick

Social Security needs a fix.

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The Tax Bill Needs Follow-On Spending Cuts

Compromise

Although a tax cut may have been a nice Christmas gift, it needs some follow-on spending cuts to work.  At best, Republicans have eaten their dessert first, waiting to eat their spending cut vegetables later; at worst, they will have increased the federal deficit by another trillion dollars or more.

 

By most estimates, even stimulating economic growth will not fully pay for the tax cut.  Republicans will now have to undertake the politically courageous step of cutting federal spending.

 

It will be difficult to make spending cuts without touching Medicare or Social Security, which President Trump has said are off limits. Meanwhile there is pressure to undo the sequester, automatic cuts on spending no one liked, but which have at least kept spending growth down.

 

Ideally, Republicans would have disciplined themselves to do tax and spending cuts at the same time. Tax cuts may come and go, but the federal debt remains forever, it seems. And—without spending cuts—it grows.

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