White House Calls for Social Security Talks, and Other News

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bruce says:

    Why over the counter birth control pills? Why not hand them out in school?

  2. Tom H. says:

    White House is willing to talk? Is that because everyone beat up on the president for ducking all the tough issues in his SOTU speech and in his budget?

  3. Vicki says:

    Can someone explain why an increase in life expectancy would increae GDP?

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    The President is just now talking about the need to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? What took him so long? Why did he spend a year of his campaign and the first two years of his term in office promoting new health care entitlements and increased eligibility for Medicaid?

    This is an example of what economists refer to as “revealed preferences” being more accurate than “stated preferences.” He says he’s interested in talking about these issues. But his actions show that his priorities lie elsewhere.

  5. Virginia says:

    I’m in favor of the birth control bill. Anything that gives women increased choice helps. I don’t see why it’s necessary for women to pay $150 for an office visit for a year’s prescription. It’s robbery.

  6. Ken says:

    Vicki, one explanation may be this: if you are healthier, you are probably more productive. If you produce more, your income will be higher.

  7. Ezra Klein is promoting a proposal from the Center for American Progress that simply hikes payroll taxes to redistribute income between classes of seniors – which Social Security currently does not do but Medicare does.

    President Obama is able to cite President Reagan because the former’s Medicare reform peeled the cap off earnings subject to Medicare payroll tax. (In hindsight, that might have been a mistake. But maybe not – because he lowered marginal income rates, too, so the tax burden became flatter overall.)

    Conservatives obviously need new marketing material on reforming Social Security. Maybe we can point out that if Congress “privatizes” Social Security, there is nothing stopping anyone from putting 100% of their contributions towards U.S. government debt, which is exactly where it is now.

    The video of the president’s press conference is simply jaw-dropping. He echoes John Boehner in calling for an “adult conversation”. Well, they are adults. In fact, the Constitution prevents people from being in the House of Representatives until they are 25, or the Senate until they are 30, or the White House until they are 35. So, the Consitution expects them to have “adult conversations”!

    And then he had the gall to reflect upon how “these things are done” traditionally, with Republicans and Democrats coming together to design and build the welfare state. Maybe he should have thought of that when they were ramming Obamacare through Congress!

  8. Jeff says:

    John, thanks for your sobering comment.

  9. artk says:

    Of all the issues, Social Security is the least of them. In fact, if we simply kept to the formula laid out by the sainted Ronald Reagan the retirement age can stay the same and there will be no cuts in benefits and the social security withholding rate can remain the same. When Social Security was adjusted the contributions were designed so that 90% of wages paid were subject to social security withholding. Because of changes in income distribution since then, the cpi adjustments on the income cap add up to only 86% of wages paid. Just adjust the cap to reflect the 90% of wages that Reagen liked and social security is secure. Problem solved, next.

  10. Bart I says:

    Fairness requires closing any gaps in Social Security funding by reducing benefits rather than increasing revenues. This is because the very existence of a deficit implies that people have contributed to little in the past to finance the benefits they are collecting in the present or are projected to collect in the future. Since it would be impracticable to retroactively increase taxes for those who paid in when the rates were lower, the only alternative is to reduce benefits (or at least restrict benefit growth).

    Do do the reverse– to increase taxes rather than cut benefits– would be an unfair transfer from future workers to older generations.

  11. Bart I says:

    Whoops, to –> too

    And I do realize that compassion and practicality will limit the “fairness” of any such reform.