What frustrates me most is that I think GWB really doesn't understand how Social Security works. Like too many ordinary folks, he thinks it's a bank account set up for each payer, when really it's a giant Ponzi scheme. (Which I don't mean as an insult.)Since birth rates have dropped, and will continue to drop, it's true that Social Security could never continue indefinitely. But to claim the sky is falling is idiotic, particularly when running spectacular budget deficits.Grr.
John, I don't think it's at all a Ponzi scheme in the traditional definition of that term. I think it was designed to be tinkered with over ongoing generations to keep up with the ebb and flow of american generations. In the 80s, politicians realized that if left unchanged, it would run out of money. So, they raised the amount of money that people currently put into it. This caused it to have a growing surplus. The surplus will stop growing in approximately ten years or so and then will be tapped to pay the benefits of the so-called "greatest generation. Right now, if the government did nothing, it would still last well into the 2040s. If they tweak it minorly, it will likely go on for decades more. Paul Krugman has more. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/04/opinion/04krugman.html?oref=login&n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists
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