From Capitol News Connection:
Here to introduce today's case-in-point: Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio.
"Social security is the most solvent pension plan in the nation, maybe even in the world. It's fine. It's in surplus until 2037," Boxer says.
"No, it's not in surplus. That has changed because of the economic conditions," Portman argues.
This is a debate that takes place on multiple fronts. There's the question of whether and to what extent social security relates to the deficit. I give you: Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
According to Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, "Whatever we do needs to be separate." "Social Security is not adding to the deficit. ... We know we need to strengthen it for the future, but it shouldn't be a part of the CR or deficit discussions because it's a different thing," she says.
Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky is of a different opinion.
"They maintain that it doesn't add to the deficit because interest payments make up for it, but we're borrowing to make the interest payments. I don't think any serious commentator in the country believes that Social Security is not imperiled and that it doesn't need fixed," he says.
A corollary to whether it 'needs fixed' is 'When?,' closely followed by: 'Is this about saving something or doing away with it?'
Senator Lindsey Graham says, "A lot of Americans are going to outlive their 401k plans. I would argue that in the 21st Century the need for social security is as great as it's ever been."
The South Carolina Republican is preparing to straddle the gap between GOP dreams of privatization and a big-D Democratic defense against changing the 75 year-old social safety net in any big way.
"I've never seen a better moment to deal with social security in a bipartisan fashion than right now -- so Mr President, our Democratic colleagues, seize the moment," Graham says.
More on that... in Social Insecurity, Part Two.
That's Power Breakfast from Capitol Connection.