Entitlement programs are choking our budget, but one of them, Social Security, ought to be “back-of-an-envelope solvable,” argues Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post: “Raise the retirement age, tweak the indexing formula, and means-test so that Warren Buffett’s check gets redirected to a senior in need.” Is the Obama administration pushing for any of that? No. Instead, his Office of Management and Budget director argued recently that Social Security was actually fine, its trust fund solvent until 2037. “This claim is a breathtaking fraud.”
“The Social Security trust fund is a fiction,” Krauthammer argues. The fund does not, in the OMB’s words, “consist of real economic assets,” it’s just a bookkeeping conceit. “In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains—nothing,” Krauthammer translates. The Treasury uses FICA taxes for today’s spending needs, giving the so-called fund some utterly worthless IOUs in return. Obama’s cynically ignoring this reality. He's going "to lead the charge against entitlement reform as his ticket to reelection."