In a speech this week, President Obama called for an expansion of Social Security, saying “it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous, and increased its benefits.” Obama was undoubtedly influenced to some degree by the developments in the Democratic primary, where both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have expressed support for some form of expansion. This represents a reversal in part for Obama. While he had always supported increasing payroll taxes on higher-earning Americans, he had also previously supported a change in the way benefits were adjusted each year that would have reduced the growth rate of benefits over a long timeframe in the interest of improving the program’s fiscal trajectory. Social Security’s long-term oultook has only gotten worse in the intervening years, but in his speech he signalled that he no longer believed “all options were on the table” to address solvency concerns and instead supports further expansion. This reversal is misguided. If his favored reforms are implemented it will increase the economic distortions introduced by Social Security and do nothing to address its serious fiscal problems. The more likely result is that with this retrenchment, policymakers will continue to make promises but fail to actually do anything. Younger workers will bear the brunt of the cost resulting from failures to put forward constructive reform.