Charles Krauthammer is a reliable echo of the Right’s latest talking points ranging from the fun to be had invading Iraq to celebrating the recreation of the Age of the Robber via conservative redistribution of wealth from the bottom half of wagers earners to the top 2%. Chuck has not made a relevant contribution to political discourse from either his lofty soapbox at the WaPo or his regular appearances on the Fox Disinformation Network in the past 10 years. His latest fact-less diatribe from WaPo proves the point, Et tu, Jack Lew?
Everyone knows that the U.S. budget is being devoured by entitlements. Everyone also knows that of the Big Three – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – Social Security is the most solvable.
Back-of-an-envelope solvable: Raise the retirement age, tweak the indexing formula (from wage inflation to price inflation) and means-test so that Warren Buffett’s check gets redirected to a senior in need. (emphasis mine)
It is my understanding that the basic ingredients of an opinion paper have not changed since I was in school. Your opening and usually fact based thesis is stated and evidence is than provided. Chuck starts out with a statement that is ridiculous on its face. The U.S. budget is sad shape because of a recession which is largely the result of conservative economic policies, lack of enforcement of financial regulation, runaway spending such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Medicare part D( an entitlement passed by Republicans with no provisions to provide revenue to pay for it. A travesty corrected by Democrats in 2009). Instead of a modest payroll tax cut suggested by Democrats in 2001, Bush and Rethuglicans passed the fiscally irresponsible Bush Tax Cuts, that were voodoo supply side economics on steroids. If Chuck’s assertions and attempts to remold the public narrative about where the country is financially, that is because it became the new narrative as soon as Republicans lost power in 2008. Like petulant little brats in $4000 dollar suits that refused to take responsibility for the failure of conservatism at manages the nation’s wealth. Chuck is simply doing his job as professional hack for the Right. Echoing the message of the conservative noise machine. The Heritage Foundation continues to be a big part of that noise and denial,
Heritage Foundation’s Analysis is Misleading
A recent Heritage Foundation report claims that tax cuts and other policies initiated during the Bush administration are not a significant factor behind the deficits we face in the coming decade. Heritage places blame for the deficits squarely on rapid growth in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest costs, and dismisses the significance of weak revenues in general and the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in particular. But Heritage’s analysis is both misguided and seriously misleading.
Did Chuck simply rewrite a Heriatge Foundation “study”. Probably. But Chuck’s laziness and plagiarism is a small matter compared to the disservice he does to honest discourse about our economic problems, where they came from and how to handle them.
…Heritage ignores the fact that the share of deficits accounted for by the Bush-era tax cuts will grow in future years as the impact of the economic downturn on deficits diminishes . Because the economic downturn and efforts to combat it have such a large effect on the deficit in 2010, the share of the deficit accounted for by the tax cuts seems relatively modest; we estimate that the tax cuts account for about one quarter of the 2010 deficit. But as the effects of the downturn recede, the tax cuts will account for a much larger share. In 2019, the tax cuts, if continued, will account for nearly three-fifths of the deficit. And, despite the growing impact of rising health care costs and the continued aging of the population after 2019, the tax cuts will continue to have a major impact on the deficit. The Center has estimated that not extending the tax cuts — or fully paying for the cost of extending them — would reduce the projected budget shortfall through 2050 by two-fifths. 
I’ve posted the chart below a couple of times. It was true previously and remains true no matter how much Chuck and the Heritage Foundation would like it not to.( I wonder where the “Heritage” factors into that foundation’s name. The Weimar Republic, perhaps). Chuck further embarrasses himself by jumping on the Social Security as ponzi scheme meme. The first I read of that hacktacular propagandists view of Social Security was some right-wing net magazine. How far Chuck has fallen to be taking clues from the conservative gutters,
Here’s why. When your FICA tax is taken out of your paycheck, it does not get squirreled away in some lockbox in West Virginia where it’s kept until you and your contemporaries retire. Most goes out immediately to pay current retirees, and the rest (say, $100) goes to the U.S. Treasury – and is spent. On roads, bridges, national defense, public television, whatever – spent, gone.
In return for that $100, the Treasury sends the Social Security Administration a piece of paper that says: IOU $100. There are countless such pieces of paper in the lockbox. They are called “special issue” bonds.
Special they are: They are worthless.
It’s nice that Mr. Krauthammer thinks that government bonds are worthless. (I have a standing request that he, or anyone else, pass along any government bonds that he considers worthless. We will use them to support CEPR.) While he is welcome to believe anything he wants, the bonds held by the Social Security trust fund are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Krauthammer may want to default on bonds that belong to the nation’s workers, but his desires are not the same as reality.
Selling these bonds to fund Social Security no more raises the deficit than the decision of a rich person to sell bonds to finance their consumption raises the deficit. The deficit was incurred when the money was lent to the Social Security trust fund in the first place.
There are a couple of trolls over at Bruce’s who seem to think bonds are debt, just in the way your mortgage is a debt. If you do not pay your mortgage you eat the loss. The same is not true of bonds.
Possibility located next to Dick Cheney’s bunker is the Republican school of Tax Bait and Switch, just above the basement where they have magic classes in which they teach that yelling falsehoods makes them true, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a Darling of Republicans. It That Because He Lies Loud and Often
Some overstatements have worked their way into the governor’s routine public comments, like a claim that he balanced the budget last year without raising taxes; in truth, he cut deeply into tax credits for the elderly and the poor. But inaccuracies also crop up when he is challenged, and his instinct seems to be to turn it into an attack on someone else instead of giving an answer.
When Christie and Krauthammer watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”, they root for Mr. Potter. Christie, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s Governor John Kasich are all taking money from teachers, the poor, the elderly to pay for tax breaks for corporations that are back to making pre-recession profits.