The Congressional Super Committee held it's first hearing today.  CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified about the budget deficit and warned the U.S. won’t be able to keep up its spending programs and policies while keeping current tax policies in place.  As expected, fiscal hawks continued to try and blame our fiscal failure on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security today while sticking to their pledge to ignore the revenue side of any deficit reduction equation. It's going to be a long few months. Here's today's reaction from our President/CEO, Max Richtman:
“It’s clear, after listening to statements made by many members of the Deficit Super Committee today, that cutting Medicare, Medicaid and even Social Security, to cut the deficit remains their primary goal.  Repeated statements that these programs are the primary drivers of our current debt, contrary to the facts, do a disservice to the process and impede finding real solutions to the real problems.  Conflating current debt and future obligations is a political strategy designed to target these programs to pay the price for years of failed fiscal policies and tax cuts for the wealthy. America’s workers, especially the baby boomers, built up a $2.6 trillion dollar Social Security trust fund to pay for their future retirement.  In fact, the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office show that Social Security can pay full benefits through the year 2038 and slightly more than 80 percent of scheduled benefits in subsequent years.  The challenges facing Medicare are more immediate.  Solutions are needed to bring down the high cost of healthcare system-wide, however, benefit cuts for seniors is not a remedy.  Lumping Social Security and Medicare together, while ignoring the true drivers of our current debt, puts politics over policy and turns this Deficit Reduction Committee into nothing more than an entitlement chop-shop.  That is not what the American people expect or will accept in the name of deficit reduction.” Max Richtman, President/CEO