Friday, May 20, 2005

Social Security deform

Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to quote other blogs that are well-known enough (especially compared to mine) that most interested readers might have seen them already. But I couldn't pass up this nugget from Brad DeLong, concerning the Bush Administration's Social Security activities:
"It is a clown show, an episode of stupidity of a jaw-dropping magnitude:
"1. The administration's Social Security gurus shove Bush out there with talking points saying that we need to act now to pass the Bush plan, because starting in 2017 Social Security will start taking resources away from the rest of the government and that's a very bad thing--and then they roll out a plan in which Social Security starts taking resources away from the rest of the government in 2011.
"2. The administration's Social Security gurus shove Bush out there with talking points saying that passing the Bush plan is essential because if we don't the Social Security trust fund balance will hit zero in 2041, and big benefit cuts will then be necessary--and then they roll out a plan in which the Social Security trust fund balance hits zero in 2030.
"3. The administration's Social Security gurus shove Bush out there with talking points about the importance of restoring actuarial balance to Social Security--and then they roll out a plan which closes less than a third of the 75-year funding gap (and refuse to specify the plan in sufficient detail to allow anyone to do a longer-run analysis)."
This is what people mean when they say, a la the Paul O'Neill book, that this is the first Administration in modern U.S. history that does not have a policymaking process.

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