Friday, December 6, 2013

On Social Security, "doing nothing" is the best option with a GOP House

  - by New Deal demorat

Duncan Black a/k/a Atrios, acknowledges that part of his campaign to espand Social Security benefits, is to put "doing nothing" on a firmer footing.

In fact, over the next 20 years, unless job creation and real wages suddenly accelerate on a secular basis, "doing nothing" isn't enough.  There is a real, albeit small and fixable, problem with the Trust Fund. Bruce Webb of "Social Security defenders" has acknowledged that this is why he came off the "doing nothing" fence and endorsed the "Northwest Plan" which solves the shortfall by increasing tax withholding.

As I've shown in the last few weeks, the problem can be fixed for so long as the grandchildren of today's children live, by a reasonable combination of small tax withholding increases, increases in the percentage of income subject to the tax, an increase of about 3 to 4 months in the ultimate retirement age, and alternatively, if necessary, about a 3% cut in benefits over the next 20 years.  Atrios disagrees with me, but he's wrong.

But there is simply no reason to enter into a bargain, Grand or otherwise,with a GOP that wants to destroy Social Security, whether in small steps or all at once. Making the Social Security Trust Fund solvent forever can abide the election of a democratic majority in both Houses of Congress.