Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Washington Poop

This episode is as unfortunate as it is predictable; Mr. Simpson has a penchant for remarks that are colorful bordering on intemperate. But his fundamental point is correct: Social Security is not on a sustainable footing. In his e-mail, Mr. Simpson pointed to a presentation by the chief actuary for Social Security, Stephen C. Goss, showing that by 2037 the program's reserves will have been drained and it will be able to pay only 76 percent of scheduled benefits. "If you think the statistics on poverty for seniors are alarming -- then you need to read this little pamphlet to know what is really alarming," Mr. Simpson wrote.

The most sensible and least painful way to address this problem is to act sooner rather than later to make the relatively modest adjustments that will be needed. These changes should be done in a way that protects the most vulnerable seniors. But dawdling and hoping for better-than-expected economic news is not protecting that needy population. It is taking the risk of steep benefit cuts that would hurt these seniors the most. That is, we think, what Mr. Simpson's mother would have wanted him to say.

Right. We need to cut Social Security now, because it won't be fully funded in 2037? Good thing there's nothing else important going on to worry about. And one more time, MORON: Social Security has NOTHING to do with the deficit.

AND THERE'S MORE! Yes, Sports Fans, Today's Post Has A Double Scoop of Poop:

UPDATE: Here's a post from Dean Baker in April:

What will be missing from both of these events is any serious debate on the extent of the deficit problem and its causes. These affairs are not about promoting a real exchange of views on issues like the future of social security, Medicare, and public support for education, research and infrastructure, the purpose of these events is to tell the public that everyone agrees, we have to cut the deficit. And, this means cutting social security and Medicare. This is argument by authority.
However, almost no economists have adjusted their research for a CPI's overstatement of inflation. In fact, even the members of the expert panel don't generally use a measure of inflation that adjusts for the alleged bias in the CPI. In other words, when they are not pushing cuts to social security, these economists act as though the CPI is an accurate measure of the rate of inflation. This could lead one to question these experts' integrity.


Substance McGravitas said...

Pretty amazing.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Here's a reply to Milbank I can recommend.

Jennifer said...

Hmm, vets wanting something for nothing. Perhaps we could reduce the deficit by removing all benefits ever paid to any politician who has started war or voted to increase a war.

Another Kiwi said...

Smacked 'em out of the park, Thunder!

commie atheist said...

Here's an even better response to Milbank, Hiatt, Simpson, and everyone else who agrees with them: