Happy birthday, Social Security! The program was signed into law 77 years ago. Hey, all of you in your 20s and 30s who think you’ll never see a penny of benefits — that’s a myth! The bad news is that Social Security does have a long-term funding problem. The good news is that it’s not all that big of a problem, could be easily fixed with small adjustments, doesn’t balloon into something difficult to fix at any point in the foreseeable future. Even if it’s not fixed and future congresses don’t raid the rest of the budget for money, you would still get a bit more than 75 percent of what you’re scheduled to get. The health-care programs are having real trouble; Social Security is basically in great shape.
So, on to the good stuff:
1. “The ridiculous attack ad not only treats seniors like idiots, it also keeps the Medicare issue right where Democrats want it: up front and center.” Steve Benen on the new Mitt Romney ad attacking President Obama for the Medicare cuts that congressional Republicans almost all supported — a good example of lazy mendacity.
2. And, yes, “Paul Ryan’s budget keeps Obama’s Medicare cuts. Full stop.” Ezra Klein explains.
3. Michael Linden has five budget questions for the top of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
4. Michael Cohen thinks about the Republican ticket’s lack of foreign policy and national security experience – and, it seems, interest.
5. Similarly, Dan Larison on experience and the GOP ticket.
6. Matt O’Brien on Ryan and the Fed.
7. Okay, enough about Ryan already. And about the presidential election. I’ve been enjoying Ed O’Keefe’s reporting from five House districts. Nice.
8. Congressional primaries continue today. Republican women? No, not many of them. David S. Bernstein continues to track it.
9. Speaking of which: David Leonhardt has been tracking the demographic changes in other top political jobs.
10. Sean Sullivan on today’s Wisconsin Senate primary.
11. Sentences from 2012: “New general Tammy S. Smith had her wife Tracey Hepner pin the medal on in the ceremony.” From E.J. Graff.
12. You might have heard a while ago about some research showing that political extremists were generally happy. Turns out: not so. Andrew Gelman, with charts.
13. And Ann Friedman thinks that “Paul Ryan is your annoying libertarian ex-boyfriend.”