From Pine View Farm

Social Insecurity (Updated) 1

Deficit hawks: Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The general assumption is that reducing the deficit should be a top national objective, and that Social Security should be considered a major source of deficit relief. That much is simple enough. But little else about the campaign against deficits is so simple.

Two issues must be sharply separated. The first is the fiscal policy question of how long increased deficits can be prudently tolerated in the interests of stimulating the economy. The second issue, Social Security, is different – though one wouldn’t know it from listening to most deficit hawks.

Government budget deficits are a serious problem, but Social Security is not a serious part of it. To say otherwise is to engage in mythmaking, and the deficit hawks are doing a lot of that. Those who warn that Social Security’s revenues will fall short of outlays in the 2040s are really pointing to a need for small adjustments, not a problem with the program’s solvency.


Via Michael Tomasky at the Guardian (whose article is worth a glance), try this out to see where real savings lie. Hint: Not in reducing old folks to penury.


1 comment

  1. Cargosquid

    July 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    SS should be an account, not touchable by the general fund.  Unfortunately, it became just another tax.  If they want to save SS and lower the deficit, turn every dollar into a Treasury bill purchase.  The gov’t gets the money, its protected from abuse by politicians saying, “oops, no more money. Thanks anyway.” and the return on the dollar has been shown to be greater. And you can inherit the bonds.  Now, if you die early, the money is wasted except to fund the Ponzi scheme.