It’s one thing to argue that growing health care costs make Medicare and Medicaid a more daunting long-term fiscal challenge. But to say Social Security isn’t a driver of the debt is to ignore math and huddle in a state of liberal denialism.
More money is spent on Social Security than on any other single program in the federal budget, including all defense spending. By 2022, nearly 25 percent of federal spending will be devoted to Social Security, according to the Congressional Budget Office, up from 20 percent last year. In contrast, even if Congress votes next month to avert automatic defense cuts, the share of the budget devoted to defense spending is projected to shrink from 19 percent in 2011 to 12 percent by 2022.
All told, the federal government will spend $10.5 trillion on Social Security over the next decade (2013 to 2022), according to the Congressional Budget Office. To say this will have no effect on deficits is preposterous on its face.