Dishonest Or Stupid?

March 7th, 2011at 11:37am Posted by Eli

Bob Samuelson, the Anti-Krugman, explains why Social Security is welfare:

We don’t call Social Security “welfare” because it’s a pejorative term and politicians don’t want to offend. So they classify Social Security as something else, when it isn’t. Here’s how I define a welfare program: first, it taxes one group to support another group, meaning it’s pay-as-you-go and not a contributory scheme where people’s own savings pay their later benefits; and second, Congress can constantly alter benefits, reflecting changing needs, economic conditions, and politics. Social Security qualifies on both counts.

So apparently unless Social Security pays you back the exact same dollars that you paid into it, it’s welfare.  Oh, and that huge surplus to deal with the baby boomers retiring?  Total accident:

The trust fund serves mainly to funnel taxes to recipients, and today’s big surplus is an accident, as Charles Blahous shows in Social Security: The Unfinished Work. In 1983, when the trust fund was nearly exhausted, a presidential commission proposed fixes but underestimated their effects. The large surplus “just developed. It wasn’t planned,” the commission’s executive director said later. Even so, the surplus will disappear as the number of retirees rises.

I’m gonna go with dishonest, I think.  Although that certainly doesn’t rule out stupid.

Entry Filed under: Economy,Media,Politics,Republicans,Social Security,Wankers


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