Ramesh Ponnuru is off message:
The Corner on National Review Online: SOCIAL SECURITY: Matthew Yglesias accuses me of offering "bad math" in a post the other day. The accusation is a little mystifying. My post criticized Jacob Weisberg for claiming that President Bush had been unwilling to cut Social Security benefits and had instead balanced the books on his reform plan by invoking high stock-market returns. That wasn't true. Bush proposed cuts in future benefits.
Foolish Ramesh! George W. Bush assured us that he never proposed to cut Social Security benefits! He only proposed to slow the rate of growth of benefits!
And Bush never "balanced the books" on his Social Security reform plan. Never. Jason Furman--apparently the only person to go public with any estimates of the budget impact of the Bush plan, such as it was (certainly no Bush appointees ever had any numbers to talk about), says that:
The Impact of The President's Proposal On Social Security Solvency And The Budget, 7/22/05: the President's plan as a whole is found to close only 24 percent of the 75-year [estimated Social Security funding] gap. More than three-quarters of the gap would remain. Additional benefit reductions, new revenues, or large transfers from the rest of the budget would be necessary to fill the substantial remaining gap.