Thursday, December 16, 2004

Social Security Digest

The great debate on Social Security is raging back and forth, and now Bush has fired his loudest shot over the heads of the bleeding hearts who want to see a safety net left in place. Below is a selection of some of the best and most concise readings on the problem from a liberal standpoint that I have seen so far.

First, an omnibus source of info in itself, check out The Social Security Networkwebsite, sponsored by The Century Foundation.

Krugman, with a general overview of why the arguments for change are false

Josh Marshall who warns us away from being sucked into making the financial risk/Wall Street argument and reminds us what S.S. was for in the first place: a safety net for old age that could not be touched by hard luck or hard times:
“This isn't about financing. It's about whether Americans get to keep Social Security, a program of guaranteed retirement insurance, which unlike the other key elements of a good retirement plan -- investments and pensions -- cannot be taken away.”
Michael Kinsley, on the contradictions inherent in the argument for change

Quiddity with graphics

The Center for Economic and Policy Research, with a clear, simple, scientific analysis, with charts for clarification. CEPR's report makes these points:
1. Social Security is Financially Sound
2. President Bush's Social Security Cuts Would Be Large
3. Imaginary Stock Returns Don't Offset Real Benefit Cuts
4. Social Security is Extremely Efficient, Private Accounts Are Wasteful
5. Social Security Pays the Most to Those Who Need it Most
6. The Projected Shortfall is No Larger Than What We Have Seen In Past Decades
7. Young Workers Will Still See Much Higher Wages If Taxes Are Increased
8. The Bush Proposal Phases Out Social Security as We Know It

Update: Krugman checks in with a nod to The Century Foundation, referenced in the post above

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