Here's Barry Ritholtz on social security (link):

The issue of government debt seems to be coming up a lot news lately. Courtesy of the credit collapse and economic recession, Deficits are front page news. Classic balance budget advocates are reiterating their views, joined by hypocritical partisans who, after a decade of spending profligacy, unfunded tax cuts, new entitlement programs and a war of choice, have “suddenly” discovered the evils of borrowing.

Then there are the major entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare and the Prescription Drug plan. These are, we are told, an even bigger problem then the ordinary budget deficit. As presently configured, the entitlement deficits are set to skyrocket as the boomers retire. Social Security especially is a target of persistent fear-mongering.

This is all unvarnished nonsense. Social Security is at present, financially stable; As it starts to run into increasing deficits, the political classes will be forced to respond.

To repeat a point re-iterated at length during the health care reform debate, the long run deficit is all about controlling the cost of health care (link, link, link, link, link, link, etc...).  If you care about long-run deficits, then figuring out how to contain these costs should be the focus of your attention.  All this other talk is just fear mongering.

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