Robert Samuelson says, "Social Security Is Middle-Class Welfare"
Excerpt: (emp add)
... Social Security affects our larger budget problem. Annual benefits already exceed payroll taxes. The gap will grow. The trust fund holds Treasury bonds; when these are redeemed, the needed cash can be raised only by borrowing, taxing, or cutting other programs.
It was national policy not
to reduce the debt and later redeem S.S. Treasury bonds fairly easily through a commensurate raising of the debt to "normal" levels. Now that that policy was followed, Samuelson is saying there will be a negative budgetary impact and hints strongly that the bonds should be defaulted (at least partially).
Of interest, while Social Security was building a surplus, making the misleading "unified budget
" look good, hiding the reality of the General Fund deficit, and making it easier to advocate cutting taxes, Samuelson was silent.Dean Baker shows the errors in Samuelson's argument, especially the one where Samuelson calls Social Security "welfare"
He's been trading on people confusing him with Paul Samuelson, an actual economist (now dead), for years. This article is a reminder that he's not only not an economist, but also not much of a journalist.
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