Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Pozen ups the ante 

The day after my post on the WSJ's coverage of Bush's Social Security reform plan, Robert Pozen offers his own assessment on the same pages. Money quote:
More fundamentally, any increase in the payroll tax base must address the issue of political support for Social Security. Critics of progressive indexing have alleged that it will erode political support for the system among high-wage earners because their benefits would grow more slowly than under the current schedule. Yet these same critics are the ones urging substantial increases in payroll taxes for high earners. Will the political support of high earners be more likely to erode if they face a large hike in their payroll taxes for the rest of their working careers, or if they receive less than the current schedule of Social Security benefits when they retire in 20 or 30 years? The answer is obvious.
What's remarkable in the left's coverage (say, for example, the reaction to this USAToday poll) is their absolute desire to deny reality. There is an unfunded liability; we've promised to pay more than we have budgeted. We either must tax more or pay out less in benefits. TANSTAAFL. And it's pretty clear what Matthew Yglesias prefers.

Until one of them addresses the total package by including PRA payments in their benefit descriptions, I consider their statements deceptive and dishonest.