Harry Reid: Social Security is “off the table”

posted at 7:17 pm on January 31, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via HuffPo, a case study in why nothing short of fiscal catastrophe will bring about bipartisan congressional cooperation on entitlement reform. To put this into context, a choice excerpt from last year’s report on the state of Social Security and Medicare from the program’s federal Trustees:

Social Security expenditures are expected to exceed tax receipts this year for the first time since 1983. The projected deficit of $41 billion this year (excluding interest income) is attributable to the recession and to an expected $25 billion downward adjustment to 2010 income that corrects for excess payroll tax revenue credited to the trust funds in earlier years. This deficit is expected to shrink substantially for 2011 and to return to small surpluses for years 2012-2014 due to the improving economy. After 2014 deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation’s retirement causes the number of beneficiaries to grow substantially more rapidly than the number of covered workers. The annual deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets in amounts less than interest earnings through 2024, and then by redeeming trust fund assets until reserves are exhausted in 2037, at which point tax income would be sufficient to pay about 75 percent of scheduled benefits through 2084. The projected exhaustion date for the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds is unchanged from last year’s report.

The long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and those that remain for Medicare should be addressed soon. If action is taken sooner rather than later, more options will be available and more time will be available to phase in changes so that those affected have adequate time to prepare.

Note in particular Reid’s blase attitude in the clip about Social Security being fully funded for the next 40 years. In fact, it’s only 26 years until the trust fund goes bust, but have a look at the first table here in Heritage’s essential rundown of how entitlements affect federal spending from last July. (If you can spare the time, scroll through their entire series of graphs, paying special attention to “Social Security and Medicare Are Crowing Out Other Spending.”) For two years running, the annual deficit has exceeded the sum total of all discretionary spending. Meaning, if we eliminated everything from the budget, defense included, aside from entitlements and interest on the debt, we’d still be in the red at the end of the year. And yet, to this guy, Social Security’s “off the table.” We’re finished.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Ya right… yada, yada, yada,

and Obamacare is constitutional.

singlemalt 18 on January 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Just who does Harry Reid think he is, Hosni Mubarak?

Skandia Recluse on January 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

AP: Nice pointing out the issue of the nondiscretionary spending itself causing a deficit. Hadn’t seen that pointed out so clearly before now.

Can we get this exact statement repeated until it sinks in?

Scott H on January 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Note in particular Reid’s blase attitude in the clip about Social Security being fully funded for the next 40 years. In fact, it’s only 26 years until the trust fund goes bust

Harry & Nancy will be long in the ground for their dirt naps in 26 years. They don’t care. They live for today. They are like Children.

portlandon on January 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Gross incompetence

ronsfi on January 31, 2011 at 7:23 PM

We’re finished.

2012.

John the Libertarian on January 31, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Far too much power for SS to go away or made smaller.

CWforFreedom on January 31, 2011 at 7:24 PM

The stupid comments at HuffPo are like free comedy.

SirGawain on January 31, 2011 at 7:25 PM

John: If you are referring to the election year, I’m afraid you’re looking at the wrong party.

Right now, the Republicans are waging the ‘anyone but Palin’ war, when they should be waging the ‘anyone but Obama’ war.

And the 2008 and 2010 elections have shown that the Republicans have absolutely no clue how to change their tune once they have one.

Scott H on January 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Harry: “Look! See how far I kicked the can!”

turfmann on January 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Free Bernie Madoff, right now then MF’er

Inanemergencydial on January 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM

There is a real lack of courage in Washington DC.

bopbottle on January 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Well f ing done Nevada.

WisCon on January 31, 2011 at 7:27 PM

So fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, avoidance of an economic meltdown, and stopping economic armageddon is off the table. Thanks to everyone who wanted to teach the GOP a lesson in 2008 and stayed home. Good going.

JustTruth101 on January 31, 2011 at 7:27 PM

And yet, to this guy, Social Security’s “off the table.” We’re finished.

what happens after you ‘go broke’? we’re approaching fiscal insanity at spaceballs level ludicrous speed…

ted c on January 31, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Harry & Nancy will be long in the ground for their dirt naps in 26 years. They don’t care. They live for today. They are like Children.

portlandon on January 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Harry will most likely not seek reelection after last years election cycle, so he is out in 2016. Nancy is a Zombie and will be with us forever, but she is no longer Speaker of the House, so we have that going for us. Plus that will be saving the Air Force about a Gazillion dollars a year in special flights and chocolate covererd strawberries.

Johnnyreb on January 31, 2011 at 7:28 PM

How about the GOP cut an ad that says well of course Harry Reid isn’t concerned about social security — when his and Barack Obama’s death panels are done with grandma, she won’t need her social security anyway. They’ve got “cuts” planned, just not the kind we’re thinking of.

Rational Thought on January 31, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Profiles in Cowardice

CJ on January 31, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Thanks to everyone who wanted to teach the GOP a lesson in 2008 and stayed home. Good going.

JustTruth101 on January 31, 2011 at 7:27 PM

You are very welcome. Anything else I can help you with?

Skandia Recluse on January 31, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Harry Reid couldn’t find his own ass even if given a map, compass and GPS.

GarandFan on January 31, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Thank you, Nevada. And thank you, Sharron Angle.

Six more years of this guy. He’s there until at least 2017.

amerpundit on January 31, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Rational Thought: But that would be divisive. We have to get along with traitors now.

But, in all seriousness, SOME legislator has to do a ‘carthago delenda est’ with this nondiscretionary spending issue. Just state, at the end of every speech, ‘and in conclusion, this is now the second year running where nondiscretionary spending by itself has created a deficit’.

Assuming the number is accurate (and it’s all public domain), that means we literally cannot balance the federal budget without attacking nondiscretionary spending.

Scott H on January 31, 2011 at 7:33 PM

He’s there until at least 2017.

amerpundit on January 31, 2011 at 7:31 PM

But neutered in January, 2013.

John the Libertarian on January 31, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Note in particular Reid’s blase attitude in the clip about Social Security being fully funded for the next 40 years. In fact, it’s only 26 years until the trust fund goes bust

Reid is counting on ObaMaocare to reduce the number of recipients significantly.

Slowburn on January 31, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Here is the money line: “They want to take money that isn’t theirs.” - Harry Reid

Is this his epiphany?

madmonkphotog on January 31, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Harry & Nancy will be long in the ground for their dirt naps in 26 years. They don’t care. They live for today. They are like ChildrenUnion members.

portlandon on January 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

FIFY

TheVer on January 31, 2011 at 7:40 PM

This POS acts like he and his party still have the American people fooled… The elevator ride to hell is heading down Senator Reid, not up…

Keemo on January 31, 2011 at 7:42 PM

but hey……lets focus the hatred on the 6 billion dollar ethano that pays the Fed back times 3…….

..who really cares that the SS breakdown is 10x fannie Mae and bring down the entire system……and Medicare pops with it to compound it further……

sbark on January 31, 2011 at 7:44 PM

cripe….

thanks nevada and casino unions…you’ve been a big help

/

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Harry: “Look! See how far I kicked the can!”

turfmann on January 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM

+1

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:48 PM

thank the casino unions

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:49 PM

test

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:49 PM

apparently, they didn’t like my post

:(

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Political speech by politicians has become so disingenuous that Reid might as well say “Social Security doesn’t cost us anything; it actually pays us”.

What’s the difference? He’s lying. His lies could be proven as such right then and there. I wish people would call these things out when they happen instead of letting the lie sit there for 2 days until somebody publishes an op-ed.

hisfrogness on January 31, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I could only last 1:31 into that video…

Seven Percent Solution on January 31, 2011 at 7:55 PM

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Reading you loud and clear Ghost Rider…!

Seven Percent Solution on January 31, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Reading you loud and clear Ghost Rider…!

Seven Percent Solution on January 31, 2011 at 7:56 PM

thanks good buddy :)

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:58 PM

now they show up….odd….

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I’ll be charitable and speculate that he’s Billy Jeffing his own constituents, since he seems to mean that Social Security won’t be eliminated or privatized on his watch. Which it doesn’t take an oracle to predict. The Democrats can then still pose as saviors of the senile, er, seniors if they only reprise Moynihan-style reforms and fend off the bloodthirsty Anglephiles. Or so one would hope.

Seth Halpern on January 31, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Reid is the worst kind of politician: One who doesn’t give a damn about the country or reality, but only about his party and his next re-election.

Socratease on January 31, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Start indexing eligibility age. Means test. Cut spending now!

Dandapani on January 31, 2011 at 8:08 PM

and they call the right deniers.

rob verdi on January 31, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I like Reid, he a funny man.

Bishop on January 31, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Dingy got a printing press?

tarpon on January 31, 2011 at 8:27 PM

return to small surpluses for years 2012-2014 due to the improving economy

Who is this phuck, Karnac?

darwin-t on January 31, 2011 at 8:29 PM

apparently, they didn’t like my post

:(

cmsinaz on January 31, 2011 at 7:50 PM

You’re on the “list“.

darwin-t on January 31, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I suspect…that there is a very simple reason he does not care. And that is that the Fed is monetizing the debt, and depreciating the dollar against other assets. Thus wheat, rice, soybeans, corn, copper, gold, silver, platinum, oil — whatever — are all cranking against the dollar. As are equities (yay look at how the stock market is going up yay).

This is because everything is valued relative to everything else. The dollar will continue to be devalued. Eventually when things get really bad the old financial guys will take us back onto the gold standard. And if gold becomes $50,000 per ounce — well then our national debt pretty much melts away. So paying for social security and all other entitlements will be trivial.

Of course, your social security check will only buy you a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread — but hey the government will be paying their obligation yes indeed!

So see really there is nothing at all to worry about! They will just issue “new dollars” where they knock off 2 zeros off the old dollars and $50,000 becomes $500. That way it won’t feel like Zimbabwe, or Argentina. They’ll make the US currency all different colors when they do this also — so we can be just like the Europeans!

SunSword on January 31, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Thanks Neveda. You gambled and we lost.

chickasaw42 on January 31, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Six more years of this guy. He’s there until at least 2017.

amerpundit on January 31, 2011 at 7:31 PM

You know, no one lives forever and no one knows when its their turn to take the dirt nap, but with death there is always hope…and change.

belad on January 31, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Apparently, Harry was disappointed that the drubbing the Dems got last cycle was wholly inadequate.

In two years, hopefully he’ll get exactly what he wants. Total irrelevance. It’s a great fit for his demonstrated skillsets.

Wind Rider on January 31, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I shit upon thee, Harry Reid, and your ancestors are but farts in the wind.

So there.

hillbillyjim on January 31, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Harry, sorry to say you are wrong again. NOTHING can be taken off the table if congress is to be serious about spending, and the debt!

GFW on January 31, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Political speech by politicians has become so disingenuous that Reid might as well say effectively has said “Social Security doesn’t cost us anything; it actually pays us”………

hisfrogness on January 31, 2011 at 7:51 PM

FIFY.

Him and a whole bunch of others have been claiming up is down for a long time.

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 9:31 PM

hisfrogness on January 31, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Case in point: Nancy claiming that unemployment payments are good for the economy. *facepalm*

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 9:32 PM

For two years running, the annual deficit has exceeded the sum total of all discretionary spending. Meaning, if we eliminated everything from the budget, defense included, aside from entitlements and interest on the debt, we’d still be in the red at the end of the year. And yet, to this guy, Social Security’s “off the table.” We’re finished.

Looks like AP finally bought a clue.

DFCtomm on February 1, 2011 at 12:00 AM

IMHO, the best way past the Congressional logjam on SS and Medicare is for the Court to rule these generational transfer schemes violate the Constitutional premise of securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Then state by X date certain, they will cease to function.

Furthermore, include a strong statement that anything that replaces them MUST fit the definition of being generationally nuetral in funding.

Leave Congress no choice, reconfigure these ponzi schemes without dumping the cost onto future generations. Design them so each generation pays it’s own way thru life…

drfredc on February 1, 2011 at 1:44 AM

. . . and Harry Reid is off his rocker. Thanks Nevada, you really stuck it to us this time.

rplat on February 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM

We owe it all the the idiots in Nevada.

csdeven on February 1, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Actually, get enough support from the rest of Congress…and SS will be back on the table, beyatch! We just need some other people to grow some cajones and move on this!

search4truth on February 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM