Friday, November 22, 2013

The "expand Social Security" craze

I normally don't bother with Paul Krugman who has a long history of being wrong and never admitting it.  But now he's in my wheelhouse with "Expanding Social Security."  The transparent ploy here is that since Social Security is on a path towards bankruptcy the entitled Left isn't going to play defense - it's playing offense.  It's a shame this argument is based on such a dearth of facts.

First, the Krugtron tells us that raising the retirement age is wrong because it benefits the wealthy who have the advantage of living longer.  But Social Security is supposed to be a universal system, one that benefits Americans equally and proportional to the taxes paid into the system.  There's already a degree of progressive scaling to Social Security but Krugman wants it to be a full-on welfare program.  Because that shows you care.  I say that in the same tone of disdain that Krugman holds for those of us who think that adding a trillion dollars in debt every year is "austerity."

The second point Krugman makes is that Americans have done a terrible job of saving for retirement and only Social Security can save them from penury.  Maybe Americans could have saved more if they weren't having 6.2% (or 12.4% depending on your point of view) siphoned away to a program only to have automatic benefit cuts kick in the moment they retire.

But let's assume for a nanosecond that - yes - we should expand Social Security.  Who will pay for this expansion?  Surprise surprise, Krugman doesn't say and neither does Elizabeth Warren.  Because it's all about rights and benefits paid for by mysterious benefactors.  They both know that if Americans were asked to support a Social Security expansion by, say, raising the FICA tax by 2% nobody but nobody would support it.

But it's fun to play the populist.

1 comment:

Alex Rodgers said...
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