Just a thought

Just a thought… Maybe a lot of people have made this point and I just missed it. Or maybe it’s so obvious it doesn’t need to be made. But…

In 2018, Social Security will begin paying out more money than it takes in. This is what Dennis Hastert calls the “crisis point.” But the entire federal government is paying out more money than it takes in right now. Indeed this has been the case for four years, thanks in no small measure to GOP tax-and-spending policies. And it will continue to be the case indefinitely under the president’s own supposedly-tough budget. Why is it that a modest deficit in Social Security that won’t begin for almost a decade and a half requires immediate radical action, while a vastly greater overall federal deficit occurring right now doesn’t?

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. He was an editor at the magazine from 1986 to 1988.