Harry Reid: Ignore Social Security

It looks like Washington Democrats are going to follow a tired, familiar, and, unfortunately, often effective script.

This is what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a crowd rounded up in Washington yesterday:

“Let’s worry about Social Security when it’s a problem. Today it’s not a problem.”

Where to begin? First, let’s tackle Reid’s logic. Waiting for something to become a problem is the wrong way to govern one’s life, much less a country. How about, “Let’s worry about your circulatory system when you are having a heart attack. Today you are not having a heart attack.” I wonder if Reid would say we should not worry about climate change yet.

Second, Reid’s facts are wrong. There IS a problem with Social Security – now. The system is already paying out more in benefits than it takes in, and that’s before this year’s cuts in FICA taxes enacted by President Obama and Congress last year. Reid is arguing that Social Security’s trust fund won’t run dry for decades, and that would be true if there actually was a trust fund. The truth is, that fund is completely empty because Congress has been raiding it to pay for other programs all these years. It’s just a bunch of IOUs from the rest of the government, which is completely broke.

So now we get to watch as Democrats, stung by last year’s defeats, try to scare seniors and kick this can down the road another couple of decades. Will it work? It has in the past.

You can hear Reid’s remarks here in this report on NPR.

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