Senate Democrats Rule Out Social Security Deal

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Twenty-nice Senate Democrats — including Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer — have signed a letter saying “that we will oppose including Social Security cuts for future or current beneficiaries in any deficit reduction package.” At the very end of the letter, they concede that the program has “long-term challenges that will need to be addressed in the decades ahead,” but insist these “challenges” should not be viewed in the context of the overall budget.

The conventional wisdom in the press is that the first, second, and third most important obstacle to a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit is Republican intransigence on taxes. This letter is unlikely to change that view, but it should.