In a most reassuring fashion, not to mention true fact that hardly ever is spoken inside the Beltway by the Very Serious People, White House Spokesman Jay Carney Monday stated that Social Security is not a driver of the United States' deficit.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said today that Social Security is one entitlement program that should be addressed on a "separate track."
"We should address the drivers of the deficit and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit," Carney told reporters today. The senior retirement program is solvent for another 21 years, at which time recipients could see a reduction in benefits.
This follows on Dick Durbin's making similar comments on Sunday TV.
It's a similar position taken by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill, the number two Democrat in the Senate, on Sunday. "Social Security does not add one penny to our debt -- not a penny. It's a separate funded operation, and we can do things that I believe we should now, smaller things, played out over the long term that gives it solvency," Durbin said on ABC's "This Week."Republicans, who have claimed unceasingly that their desire is to reduce the deficit, have been adamant about tying the expiration of the Bush tax cuts to getting their pound of flesh out of entitlements. But they have refused to explain how cutting Social Security benefits (or raising the retirement age) will achieve their (supposed) goal of reducing the deficit.
This is an important salvo in the upcoming battle over the so-called fiscal cliff by the White House, signaling its position on the issue and has been a source of alarm for Progressives who fear Social Security would be on the table. Equally importantly it gets this talking point into circulation, undercutting the conservative argument that the goal is deficit-cutting.