Monday, August 11, 2014

MacGuineas: Social Security Demystified

Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget debunks some Social Security myths in an op-ed piece for the McClatchy syndicate.

Check it out here.

1 comment:

JoeTheEconomist said...


A large part of the breakdown in the debate about Social Security is that we aren't talking about the same things.

She isn't debunking anything. She is simply stating that her side is correct.

If you look at the issue of whether Social Security adds to the deficit, she is talking about a unified budget deficit. It is a deficit figure that is almost specifically constructed to make SS 'add to the deficit'.

At the heart of the issue is whether SS is really just general tax revenue. In her world, SS's revenue isn't SS's. It is general revenue. So when SS has a surplus, it isn't a surplus it just general revenue to be spent.

Her argument is that SS is just general revenue. Hence it has added to the deficit since 2010. Frankly given the way the law is written that is a pretty silly approach to the system.

Only in DC, a place completely divorced from reality, can a system which has been actuarially unsound since day 1 lower your deficit.