Saving Social Security From Bush And McCain

mbush.jpg Our guest blogger is James Kvaal, Domestic Policy Advisor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

If you’re in Generation X, don’t give up hope — Social Security is not going bust. That’s news from the annual report from the Social Security and Medicare trustees.

The latest projection is that Social Security will pay full benefits for more than 30 years. After 2041, it will pay only 78 percent of promised benefits. The projection for the long-run shortfall has fallen 10 percent since last year.

The report is an important reminder that the program is not in a crisis. While we need reforms to extend the life of Social Security, we do not need to panic and adopt massive benefit cuts. And the last thing we need is the radical step of privatization — as George Bush and John McCain want -– that would cut benefits and shorten the program’s life.

Instead, we can save Social Security by setting the right priorities. Its deficit projected into the infinite future is 1.1 percent of the economy — about the same size as John McCain’s tax plan. Saving Social Security would be a better use of resources than a $2 trillion tax plan that delivers 58 percent of its benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers.