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« The Bear Chair | Main | But the Oaks Can't Help Their Feelings »

Because i am a Social(Security)-ist

I'm sure i don't count as one of Kevin Drum's fellow lefties, but i want to disagree with this:

On a related note, I'm going to annoy a few of my fellow lefties and say that we should stop getting bent out of shape when people respond to the Trustees report by saying that Social Security is "going bankrupt" or "running dry" or some similar formulation. There's a hyperlegalistic sense in which this isn't accurate, but honestly, it would be a helluva dramatic event if the trust fund ran out of money and Social Security suddenly had to slash benefits by 25% in 2033 (see chart above). Referring to this as "bankruptcy" isn't all that big a rhetorical stretch, and everyone on both left and right should put away their fainting couches, ditch all the tired excuses, and get to work on a fix that would involve -- say it in unison, folks! -- a very modest and phased-in cut in benefits combined with a very modest and phased-in increase in taxes. This isn't a hard problem.

The key point here is that if we do nothing we'll be seeing a reduction in benefits by 2033. Kevin Drum thinks we should solve that problem in part by... reducing benefits. Presumably less than would happen automatically, but nonetheless, i see no reason to codify it. It fact, i actually favor less modest tax increase coupled with an increase in benefits. A lot of old people really rely on this money and it's not really enough now. Reducing the amount social security pays out would not be a joke, and we can afford to increase it.

By fnord12 | April 24, 2012, 1:27 PM | Liberal Outrage