Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's the ideas, not the numbers

I'll let Paul Krugman make his own argument here (The Iceberg Cometh) in another of his excellent pieces about the current effort to turn Social Security from a social safety net into a national roulette wheel.

What I want to offer is a footnote on the quote that Krugman and, earlier, the Wall Street Journal, attributed to Peter Wehner, an aide to W Bush's muse, Karl Rove. Wehner wrote: "For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win." So much for the claim that Social Security has to be reorganized simply because of the disproportion in the numbers of retirees over the next 20 years, compared to the number of expected workers. If this has been a battle for six decades, it is a battle that began when Social Security was a toddler and the baby boom hadn't yet happened. It is a battle about ideology, not about numbers.

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