The $150 Billion Shell Game

The debate over the Social Security surplus is more about politics than money

The debate in Washington about who is trying to raid Social Security and who is trying to save it is completely surreal for two reasons. First, Social Security is in no danger for at least a couple of decades. It is uncharacteristic for politicians of both parties to seem so concerned about such a distant threat. But second, this debate will have no effect on Social Security. That's not opinion or prediction: that's mathematics. Republicans and Democrats say they want the budget to balance without counting the Social Security surplus. It's an admirable goal for many reasons, but the safety of...

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