But here he is explaining the facts about Social Security to USA Today:
There it is in a nutshell: Social Security is paid up old age insurance we have purchased through FICA taxes. If we take the view that because our insurance payments are invested in government bonds the money to pay benefits may disappear, we are saying that the U.S. government won't be there when we retire. Governments can't mess around with their bonds; when they do, they collapse. We are supposed to worry because China and other countries buy so many U.S. government bonds. They buy them because they are confident the bonds are safe and the U.S. government will be there. Can't we have at least as much confidence as foreign lenders around the world have?
Lew says something else important:
If we're worried about the federal budget deficit, that's what we need to worry about.
- Outlays: How about cutting meaningless wars and the bloated Pentagon? President Obama's budget doesn't scratch the surface of the money that could be saved there.
- Revenues: This one is easy. If you need money, get it from the people who have it. There is no reason rich people can't be taxed heavily on the part of their income that is over perhaps $250000 annually -- no reason except that they buy politicians to safeguard their privileges.