All this Super Congress, deficit reduction talk obscures the simple fact that Social Security does not contribute to the deficit.
Did I mention, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit? Well it is true, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit.
I will repeat: Social Security does not contribute to the deficit.
Below the fold, some other interesting things about Social Security
First, Social Security is wildly popular. Even with Republicans.
Second, Social Security saves lives.
Third, in case I forgot to mention,
SOCIAL SECURITY DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEFICIT.
Lastly from Bruce Webb
Social Security has three sources of income And two main cost sectors.
Social Security income is comprised of payroll contributions (FICA), a credit for taxes on higher income beneficiaries' benefits, and interest on accumulated Trust Fund assets. Almost all of its cost is in benefits paid with Admin making up just under 1% of cost.
Under current rules Social Security is officially "off budget" even as OMB and CBO report a combined number that the MSM refers to as THE budget deficit or surplus.
For this calculation the budgeteers take ALL Social Security cost and subtract it from ALL income to generate the "off budget" surplus number which is then combined with the "on budget" (basically everything else) deficit to get the top line number used by the media.
By this measure Social Security ran and is running surpluses and will continue to for at least a dozen years. And as a result Trust Fund balances will continue to increase. On the other hand some $120 billion of that annual income is represented by interest, a portion of which started being taken in cash in 2010. Not all by a long shot, Social Security is still racking up surpluses. On the other hand income excluding interest, something which CBO confusingly calls 'primary surplus/deficit', fell some $46 billion behind cost.
Which launched a battle of words. But if you look up 'deficit' as defined by OMB Social Security is not only not contributing to it but running a $60 billion plus surplus score.
And yes it is confusing as hell, I have been working this for 14 years now and still learning stuff each year.
That just about says it all.
So remember, when talk of deficit reduction comes up, never forget to drive home the point.