Friday, January 8, 2010

Social Security in the Slow Lane?

Over at AEI's Enterprise Blog, Adam Paul isn't entirely convinced by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare's new video arguing against a bipartisan commission to look at entitlement spending.

As Adam points out, "unlike the healthcare proposals that have mutated to fit political convenience with little analysis, the solutions to the Social Security funding shortfall—raising the retirement age, reducing benefits, increasing taxes, or some combination—are well-known and easily evaluated. In fact, these solutions were vigorously debated in public during President Bush's attempt to reform the system. Social Security has been in the slow lane for so long that any action is going to speed things up, but that speed is far from dangerous."

Click here to read the whole blog.


Bruce Webb said...

Increasing taxes was not vigorously debated during CSSS. The guidelines explicitly ruled that out.

Perhaps the debate would have been further advanced if a tax based solution had been allowed to be part of the public discussion.

Andrew G. Biggs said...

Yes, because it was a different kind of commission, closer to Roosevelt's Committee on Economic Security than, say, the Greenspan Commission. That said, if you look at Commission Model 3 it effectively raises the tax max; its sponsors wanted to do that (apparently they were more independent than is thought) but ultimately decided to use income tax transfers, which are if anything more progressive than raising the tax max.