Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jed Graham: A Better Way To Save Social Security

Jed Graham, who writes for Investor's Business Daily and is the author of the new book "A Well-Tailored Safety Net: The Only Fair and Sensible Way to Save Social Security," has a blog post over at IBD outlining how he sees the issue. Here's a taste of it:

Fiscal conservatives are right: Given bigger budget problems outside of Social Security, the benefits that have been promised may be unaffordable — even with significant tax hikes.

But so are liberals: Social Security is hardly generous to begin with, and significant benefit cuts could leave a big hole in the safety net for future retirees, who will face great risk of living long enough to deplete their savings.

The problem isn't simply one of politics: The only logical goal for Social Security reform is an affordable and effective safety net that meets both the nation's fiscal challenge and the responsibility of caring for an aging population, but none of the proposals on the table have reflected both priorities. They either rely too heavily on tax increases or cut away critical protections, and in some cases they do both.

There's only one route to Social Security reform that can limit the need for tax hikes while still meeting the needs of both the working class and the broad middle class: A safety net that is firmer for low earners than high earners early in retirement, with benefit cuts gradually unwinding to provide robust support for older retirees of all income levels.


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