Gemma: Absolutely No Reform to Social Security
Yesterday, Anthony Gemma made his well-telegraphed announcement. As Patrick notes, the announcement was very light on issue substance.
Thanks to the ProJo’s John Mulligan, however, we have at least one substantive morsel to gnaw on. Towards the end of Mulligan’s article in yesterday’s Providence Journal, which went to press before Mr. Gemma made his announcement, we learn about this fascinating and disturbing stance.
For good measure, Gemma embraces a Social Security policy to the left of most Democrats: “no changes, ever” in the tax or benefit structure as a means of ensuring the program’s long-term solvency.
Really? Even though, in 2010, social security began paying out more than it took in and, in 2036, social security benefits will be exhausted?
So Mr. Gemma will disregard the advice of the Treasury Secretary? (For the record, that’s not President Bush’s Treasury Secretary, but President Obama’s.)
“Social Security and Medicare benefits are secure today, but reform will be needed so they will be there for current and future retirees,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told reporters at a Treasury Department news conference.
Geithner said the report underscores “the need to act sooner rather than later” to make reforms to entitlement programs.
“We should not wait for the Trust Funds to be exhausted to make the reforms necessary to protect our current and future retirees,” he said.
In light of the precarious financial condition of social security, is no reform to social security – “no changes, ever” – really a wise and sustainable goal, either as a fiscal policy or a political stance?