From an editorial in Tuesday's High Point Enterprise:
You're not paying now, but you will pay later.
A couple of months ago, when President Obama, the Democrats in Congress and their Republican counterparts took the political nature of Social Security to a new level, we asked some questions about a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and extending jobless benefits for others.
1. Are the president and Congress doing us any favors by clouding the true picture of what's going on with political rhetoric about "middle-class tax cuts" and "tax holidays"?
2. When are realistic solutions and reasonable choices going to be offered to solve this looming Social Security crisis?
Last week, we got the answers.
1. Political advantage was more important to Obama, Democrats and many Republicans than funding Social Security.
2. The Social Security corrective-action issue is dead for another year.
Just before their Presidents Day holiday began, the Senate, by a 60-36 vote, approved the $143 billion measure that will extend the 2 percent tax break (saving families $1,000 on average), minutes after the House approved it 293-132. The president signed the measure upon return from a West Coast fundraising trip.
Let's once again call this what it is: a revenue reduction for the Social Security Trust Fund.
Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa had enough sense to call out his own president and party for hatching the deal, claiming that the legislation begins the "unraveling of Social Security." Turning a deaf ear to Harkin, supporters of the deal say lost revenue will be replaced in the Social Security Trust Fund from the nation's general tax collections, but the plan has attracted opposition from both the left and right on grounds that it sets a bad precedent and adds the $100 billion cost to the deficit.
Beginning in 2014, the Social Security trust fund supposedly will be supplemented by "redeeming trust fund assets from the (U.S.) General Fund of the Treasury" - IOUs from the federal government will begin to be called in. Consider what that means: higher federal taxes, more borrowing, more printing of paper money to pay those IOUs.
Does Washington care? Apparently not. They have made the same mistake for the second time in two months.
You may have saved $1,000 now; you'll pay much more later.