Sep 19 2012

Long Format Atrios

(4 PM – promoted by TheMomCat)

Crossposted from DocuDharma

I’m actually a great admirer and have been for years.  I freely admit that I’ve adjusted my writing style based on his which I think works much better for Front Page pieces than my 2500 word Jim Blaine homages.

He has a new temporary gig-

Writing Stuff Elsewhere

Atrios, Eschaton

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Doing a weekly online column for USA Today until the election. I’ll use it to promote some crazy ideas.

Viva Social Security

By Duncan Black, USA Today

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Instead of considering some exciting new program to try to encourage workers into saving more, another Rube Goldberg incentive contraption designed to nudge individual behavior in the right direction, we should increase the level of retirement benefits in the existing Social Security program.

That sounds like blasphemy because we’ve all been fed the myth that Social Security is bankrupt. It is almost universally accepted in policy circles and in the pundit class that strengthening Social Security involves cutting future benefits relative to what current law promises because according to current projections, Social Security only has the ability to pay promised benefits in full until 2033, and then 75% of them thereafter. The basic thinking is that we must promise to cut benefits now so that we won’t necessarily have to cut them 22 years from now. What?

Imagine if that is how we treated defense spending. Since it appears budgets will be tight in the 2030s, best to mothball all those aircraft carriers today. Who would buy that argument?

Social security is only bankrupt to the extent that our political leaders lose the will to invest in a decent retirement for American workers.

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