The Social Security solution that dare not speak its name
February 23, 2011 — Jacob Lew, the Obama administration’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote earlier this week that “Social Security does not cause our deficits” and that the program’s “benefits are entirely self-financing.” But he then went on to write that, “Strengthening Social Security is an important, but parallel, issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.”
So how does the Obama administration plan to “strengthen” Social Security as quickly as possible? Is strengthening a euphemism for raising the retirement age further over the long term? And why won’t a solution that incontrovertibly makes the system more sound — eliminating the exclusion of earnings above about $106,000 from the payroll tax — be seriously discussed in polite media or political circles?