Posted on | February 1, 2013 | 3 Comments
“Americans shocked to learn that there isn’t actually a Social Security crisis” I guess we can view this assertion as somehow valid to the extent that, say, Terri Shiavo was arguably not in a crisis, either. But truly:
Despite the staggering popularity and undeniable success of Social Security, a lot of political figures are obsessed with killing it. Some people want Social Security ended for honest ideological reasons, but most of the loudest voices in favor of “reforming” the program wish to do so because it would make them or their friends a lot of money by effectively forcing all Americans to gamble their retirements on the fluctuations of the giant Wall Street casino.
I don’t know who these ‘most’ are, but this may explain why Bush was thrashed after the 2004 election for trying to do something, anything about Social Security. The reform could very well have been an attempt to place too much power in the hands of just a few people.
“An economic Hindenberg,” said not Ben Bernanke
The deficit fear-mongering succeeded in getting 57 percent of survey respondents to believe that Social Security is a “crisis or significant problem,” until they learned that minor tax increases would make it totally sustainable for 75 years, at which point 74 percent of Americans were like “Oh, really? Then it seems fine, why don’t they ever put it like that on the news.” (That is not an exact quote from the survey.)
“Oh, sir, it’s only a tiny little thin one,” protested Mr. Creosote’s waiter.
Congress could have fixed Social Security several years ago but delayed because it feared making the difficult decisions. A further delay in addressing Social Security’s financial problems will only make the situation even worse. The new trustees report is not based on conjecture; it is based on a firm understanding of the economy and the U.S. population. Almost every new taxpayer who will begin a career before 2033 is living today and can be counted. Similarly, all the people who will face approximately 25 percent across-the-board benefit cuts starting in the year 2033 if Congress does nothing to fix the program are alive now, and most of them are paying taxes.