In this piece, Bruce Bartlett has the audacity to bring facts to the discussion of the so-called budget crisis. It's mainly about how "entitlements" are a small part of the problem despite what we hear from the Republicans. Here's an excerpt about social security, where he explains that if we simply subjected the same percentage of wages to social security tax as we have historically (90%), concerns about the solvency of the social security system would be resolved:
To be sure, some restraint is needed in federal entitlement programs. But the idea that we are facing a crisis is complete nonsense. Spending for Social Security, in particular, is very stable. Relatively modest changes, such as raising the taxable earnings base slightly, would be sufficient to put the program on a sound footing virtually forever. As a Nov. 28 Congressional Research Service report explains, historically 90 percent of covered earnings was subject to the Social Security tax. In recent years, this percentage has fallen to 84 percent, as the bulk of wage gains has gone to those making more than the maximum taxable income, currently $110,100. Raising the share of covered earnings back to 90 percent would be sufficient to eliminate almost half of Social Security’s long-run actuarial deficit, according to the Social Security actuaries.