Monday, June 21, 2010

Zombie lies

Mr. Krugman is on a roll today. This afternoon he hits the living dead known as the Deficit Commission or perhaps we should call it the Social Security Death Panel, since they appear to be a hit squad tasked with destroying the system as we know it. Their chief weapon being the zombie lie that the fund is about to run out of money. Krugman dispatches the falsehood easily.
OK, so two views, both of some use. But here’s what you can’t do: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that for the last 25 years, when Social Security ran surpluses, well, that didn’t mean anything, because it’s just part of the federal government — but when payroll taxes fall short of benefits, even though there’s lots of money in the trust fund, Social Security is broke.

And bear in mind what happens when payroll receipts fall short of benefits: NOTHING. No new action is required; the checks just keep going out.
This is no small concern. The commission is rife with members whose lives are dedicated to eliminating the social safety net, like the odious billionaire Peter G. Peterson. Furthermore, they are unlikely to looking at more obvious targets like unnecessary defense spending when the CEO of a major defense contractor joins forces with him on the commission.

Bad move Mr. President.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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