The Press Democrat and Watch Sonoma County feature a “Close to Home” op-ed piece by North Coast Rep. Mike Thompson entitled, “GUEST OPINION: Social Security is not broken, broke or bankrupt.” Since the new congressional districts that will be effective in 2012 will put many of us current District 6 voters into the central district in which he is expected to run, it is important to take note of his attempts to feed the citizenry the “reassuring” line that everything is okay with Social Security. Lynn Woolsey, of course, has also expressed this same, incorrect view. These two Democrats are not the only ones of their party who fail to understand the need for firm and immediate action to put Social Security on a sustainable path again. Back in February of this year, FactCheck.org published a refutation of the Democrats’ contentions that Social Security doesn’t add to the deficit. This blog too has discussed Rep. Woolsey’s blatant misunderstanding of Social Security. Here, for example.
Mike Thompson also needs to educate himself on the realities of Social Security (and Medicare). The Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, in A Summary of 2011 Annual Reports , clearly tells Congress:
Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided.
The financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare should be addressed soon. If action is taken sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that those affected can adequately prepare.
In the Trustees’ 2010 Report as reported by The Heritage Foundation, there was this admonition:
- Social Security must be reformed—now. Today’s Social Security program cannot last. The report shows that there is a 95 percent chance that Social Security will run permanent annual multi-billion-dollar deficits starting around 2015. The system has promised trillions of dollars more in benefits than it will have the ability to pay.
And “The CBO’s Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Infographic” and “The CBO’s Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information” shows that reform is necessary if the program is going to be there for Americans in the future.
It is necessary for Congress to act now to make the prudent reforms In 2010, the CBO released recommendations for reform options. Both Lynn Woolsey and Mike Thompson should study these and get on board.