It looks even worse in the long run. The Social Security Board of Trustees reports that over the next 75 years, the program will be underfunded by $13.9 trillion. To make Social Security solvent over this period would require an immediate and permanent payroll tax increase (today) of 2.78 percent of overall wages — which raises the average Social Security payroll tax bite by 25 percent. Alternatively, Congress could cut benefits by 17 percent. A mix of both tax increases and benefit cuts is obviously an option. No meaningful reform will be painless, and waiting only makes fixing the problem harder.
Kevin Williamson wisely endorses Michael Tanner’s call for a policy of unilateral free trade . Here’s Williamson:
We can have trade that is run by the actual buyers and sellers of goods and services. Or we can have trade that is run by politicians.