The bigger problem for those who want to see a crisis in Social Security’s future is this: if Social Security is just part of the federal budget, with no budget or trust fund of its own, then, well, it’s just part of the federal budget: there can’t be a Social Security crisis. All you can have is a general budget crisis. Rising Social Security benefit payments might be one reason for that crisis, but it’s hard to make the case that it will be central....He also agrees with a point I've made before:
Now it’s true that rising benefit costs will be a drag on the federal budget. So will rising Medicare costs. So will the ongoing drain from tax cuts. So will whatever wars we get into.... What we really have is a looming crisis in the General Fund. Social Security, with its own dedicated tax, has been run responsibly; the rest of the government has not. So why are we talking about a Social Security crisis?
Now let’s return slightly more to the world outside science fiction, and ask the question: can we really count purported savings several decades out as an offset to huge borrowing today? The answer should be a clear no, for one simple reason: a bond issue is a true commitment to repay, while a purported change in future benefits is just a suggestion to whoever is running the country decades from now.Tyler Cowen also agrees.