Policy Note 2001/6 | June 2001

Killing Social Security Softly with Faux Kindness

The President’s commission claims that the Social Security program is “unsustainable” and requires a complete “overhaul.” It also claims that the program is a bad deal for women and minorities. However, any honest accounting of all Social Security benefits finds that the program is a good deal for disadvantaged groups. Social Security will become a worse deal only if tomorrow's politicians slash benefits—as the commission presumes they will—or increase the taxation of the disadvantaged. A suspicious person might conclude that the reason the report uses such scare tactics is because its authors fear that future Congresses will indeed keep their promises to maintain Social Security. Hence, the urgent need to privatize today.

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