10 December 2004

Social security

Michael Bérubé asks a vexing question.
It's funny about Social Security, isn't it? The only non-means-tested, universally-implemented social-welfare program in the country, and it's paid for by the most regressive tax on the books --- remember, not a single penny over the $87,900 income level is taxed --- and conservatives still hate it. Yes, it's a quasi-socialist program, but it's quasi-socialism American-style: paid for by working stiffs in the middle-income bracket and almost completely unsupported by wealthy wage-earners and the even wealthier folks whose income derives mainly from investments.)
Paul Krugman, in the course of debunking the argument for privatization, answers it.
They come to bury Social Security, not to save it. They aren't sincerely concerned about the possibility that the system will someday fail; they're disturbed by the system's historic success.

For Social Security is a government program that works, a demonstration that a modest amount of taxing and spending can make people's lives better and more secure. And that's why the right wants to destroy it.

Not that I'm cynical.


Anonymous said...

Shame on your, Martin Feldstein! I know you want Greenspan's job, but really!


Anonymous said...

you not your..............pooh!