Peterson really t's me off.
Clinton had the deficit under control in 2000. Then Bush became President to support a Republican House and Senate and gave us two unsustainable tax cuts almost entirely for the rich plutocrats Bush represented. Then the Republicans passed the prescription drug bill - with doughnut hole and without financing it. Then we got two unnecessary wars, and stripped the resources from Afghanistan after appearing to win it for the entirely unnecessary war in Iraq.
Add to that the libertarian idiocy that started with Reagan and was pushed by the Republicans plus Greenspan so that the world-wide economy went into the predictable Great Recession.
Social Security retirement is entirely funded by the FICA tax on up to $106,000 per year in employment earnings. The working and lower middle class pay that. As it is it will not run out of money ever (pay as you go on the FICA tax) but in 2037 the worst case scenario suggests that benefits might have to be reduced - at most by 27%. The SS retirement has never reached one of its worst case scenario cases. Never. Social Security has not and by law never can add to the federal deficit.
The tax cuts went to the wealthy plutocrats. They get their money from investments instead of wages and do not pay FICA tax. Wars are fought because the plutocrats want to fight them, not because they are needed for the working and lower middle class.
But Social Security has been collecting more than it needed to since 1983. The extra funds were loaned to the federal government to pay for the tax cuts and wars - this is in addition to the money loaned by China, of course. But the SS system is going to start cashing those bonds in 2012, and the federal government will either have to pay for the money it wasted on tax cuts and wars or default on federal bonds. It can't default to China without massive world-wide financial problems (affecting the wealthy plutocrats like Pete Peterson and their wealth.) But if they can force workers to work longer and take lower benefits, they'll never have to pay the Social Security System back and America will not be recognized as defaulting on its bonds - even though pulling the funds out of the SS Trust funds is in fact a default.
Folks, this isn't sharing the pain. This is theft from the working people of America. The rich are stealing from the poor and working class. Reverse Robin Hood. That's all it is.