President Obama is meeting with progressive groups today, and then CEOs tomorrow, so they can all get on the same page as him about the Fiscal Cliff and, perhaps, his Grand Bargain. Someone at one of these meetings needs to play this clip for him, of the last ‘transformative President’ who made a Social Security deal that not only accommodated the baby boomer bulge but also ensured the system’s viability through 2035.
After playing this for Obama, he needs to be told the simplest way to reform, repair, and re-fund Social Security: Raise the Damn Cap. If the cap on earnings is removed, and if all income including carried interest income is payroll-taxed for Social Security, the system is solidly funded in perpetuity. Everyone knows this but it is never on the list of policy prescriptions discussed in The Village.
But — before getting into logical and straightforward policy propositions that have the advantage of taking a little bit more from the people who got us into the current Jobs Crisis — the president needs to watch his favorite transformative president explain that Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.