This year's federal budget surplus has plunged to $153 billion because of the nation's economic doldrums and the Bush administration's tax cut, meaning the federal government will have to cover $9 billion of spending by dipping into Social Security, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected Tuesday.
The CBO tends not to sugar-coat things to please a particular constituency.
What "got my goat" is the following (from the same article):
That is politically significant because both Bush and congressional lawmakers from both parties have pledged to avoid dipping into the retirement fund reserve.
The reason? Again, from the same article:
For the 10-year period from 2002 to 2011, the CBO calculates the nation will have a total surplus of $3.4 trillion -- three-quarters of which would be made up of excess monies in the Social Security trust fund. That number, however, is $2.2 trillion less than was projected just last May, and the reason for most of that drop is the $1.35 trillion tax cut championed by President Bush. [emphasis added]
So here we have a "tax cut" (that nobody outside of the "true believers" really wanted) happening at a time of economic downturn (fewer people working, or not making as much income as previously = fewer tax receipts...DUH!), resulting in the "surplus" being...uh, less that expected. The result: a(nother) broken promise (read: lie) not to dip into the perilously balanced Social Security Ponzi scheme^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hfund.
There. that should be clear enough for even a Republican to understand.