I took the Thomas Jefferson option for the State of the Union Address and just read the printed word. I had three reactions to the material on Social Security:
1) With the failure to move the issue forward last year, I thought the issue would be difficult to handle rhetorically. See Jane Galt's fine analysis of how the President managed to pull it off:
[T]here were the Democrats, clapping joyously at the news that they'd voted down Social Security reform. They looked like adolescents mocking authority. Memo to Dems: if the American voter wanted sullen, rebellious adolescents in Congress, they would have sent their own, if for no other reason than to get them out of the basement. George Bush let them applaud their intransigence for a while, then said, "Now we still have a giant entitlement problem." This made the Dems look foolish enough. But, in keeping with the role of teen rebel who is not paying close attention to teacher, they kept applauding. Brilliant! Why didn't those Machiavellian Republicans think of positioning themselves as the party that's glad we have a gigantic, intractable entitlement problem? About halfway through the moment, some of the brighter senators seemed to realise that they were applauding something that they oughtn't to be. But by then, they apparently figured it was too late to back down, and the best course of action was to bull through as if they'd intended all along to celebrate multi-trillion dollar budget shortfalls.
(Her observations on the word "responsible," as in responsible fiscal policy, are also quite accurate.)
2) I share Kash's skepticism that what we need is another Commission on entitlements. He conjures up the image of Ross Perot in the 1992 Presidential debates and then goes through the trouble of listing many of the recent government publications that analyze the likely impact of the Baby Boomers and others on the federal budget. The part that we need is the bipartisan. I suppose that means a Commission these days, since the other entity that is supposed to be bipartisan--Congress--doesn't seem to act that way.
3) Kash concludes his post with the question:
When will it actually be time to put forward some new solutions to these well-documented problems?
If you want ways to address Social Security's challenges that are not narrowly partisan, then by all means, start here.
Perhaps more later on the other elements of the speech.