Politics

Deal includes gimmick GOP budget blasted as 'raid' on Social Security

Among many major concessions to President Obama in Monday's budget deal, Republican leaders agreed to a Social Security financing gimmick that House Republicans' own budget blasted as a "raid" on the retirment program's trust fund.

At issue is the Social Security trust fund that pays out disability insurance benefits. Without changes, the fund is projected to run out of money at some point next year. Democrats led by Obama had been proposing diverting a portion of the payroll taxes that are intended to finance Social Security's retirement benefits to help shore up the disability program.

But up until this point, Republicans had been resisting. They had been arguing -- correctly -- that this strategy had been pursued in the past, and the problem is that it is merely kicking the can down the road and avoiding important structural reforms to ensure the program's long-term sustainability.

"The last thing Congress should do is raid the retirement trust fund," the House GOP budget, released in March, read. "And yet, with the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund expected to go bankrupt in 2016, some have suggested diverting funds to DI from the OASI trust fund – a short-term and short-sighted measure that would necessitate earlier cuts to Social Security benefits for current and future retirees while failing to address the underlying causes of DI's financing problem."

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