Friday, May 15, 2009

Social Security Analysis

For a really nice detailed analysis of the social security crisis, check out this article. It's nice to see all the data laid out clearly, something you'll never see a politician do.


Ronaldo said...

A good read. This ScienceBlogs article, written just 3 1/2 weeks later than the one you posted, takes a different track:

Troublesome Frog said...

I'm really not sure that this "clarifies" anything. The first post responding to it cuts to the point: the problem with what he laid out is not an issue with social security but rather the long term deficits the government is running in every other way. If one program takes in a surplus and the government spends that cash on other things, blaming the program that is running a surplus is frankly ridiculous.

The more interesting question, then, is what are the long run options for a program that runs a surplus and plans to run a deficit and consume its saved surplus? It could hold those assets in cash, but that just drags on the economy. It could invest in private equities, but that's not something we really like the government to do. It could simply not take in a surplus and instead raise taxes in the future. Alternately, it could take in a surplus and loan that money to a program that's in deficit. The difference between the last two is negligible.

So my question is, why dump on Social Security, specifically? The poster himself admitted that his point was really, "Social Security is toast because everything is toast." Oh, and what's with constantly tying SS and Medicare together as if their budgets are somehow inextricably linked?