What’s happening to the tax cut zealots today could happen down the road to the Democratic zealots who insist that social security doesn’t need to be fixed. People like Greenspan were worried that federal budget surpluses would become excessive. Bush camp came up with the strategy to force through enormous tax cuts. They used a legislative process called “reconciliation” to push through mega-cuts with the narrow senate majority they held. Avoiding the need for 60 votes to overturn a filibuster. Because of the way reconciliation works, the 2001 Bush cuts had to expire in 10 years.
When the cuts expired at the end of 2010 Republicans bought a two year extension by agreeing to support extended unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts.
Democrats currently feeling a s empowered as Bush, will make the same mistake with Social Security that was made with taxes. Just as the Bushes used ridiculous numbers to justify tax cuts the official Democratic position uses ridiculous math to claim Social Security doesn’t need fixing. Social Security isn’t a problem because it shows a federal budget surplus.
But our country’s real fiscal problem isn’t the federal budget deficit. It’s the huge increase in debt our country is incurring to pay our bills. In the fiscal year ended 9/30, the treasury had to borrow $160 billion, including $112 billion for the payroll tax holiday to cover Social Security’s bills, even thought the program showed a $65 billion budget surplus.
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Source—fortune, allan sloan