Friday, December 17, 2004

Time to discuss the topic du jour

With President Bush talking up Social Security privatization this week, I figured now is as good a time as any to offer a clear, cogent, and compelling commentary on the controversy. (Don't you just love alliteration?) Unfortunately, I have neither the educational background nor the research time to produce a thorough analysis of the pros and cons of removing a multibillion-
dollar government program from the public sphere.

But fear not, loyal readers: This guy with a Ph.D. in economics from MIT does, and he has some interesting ideas about our nation's social insurance program. Most strikingly, he thinks that, contrary to their current positions, liberals should support privatizing Social Security, and conservatives should oppose it. The gist of his argument is that privatization would lead to Social Security being funded by progressive income taxes rather than regressive payroll taxes, thus reducing the tax burden on the poor while shoring up the system for future generations.

Is he right? Who knows? But this article is about as pain-free and accessible a read as a cost-benefit analysis can be, and it's always fun to see traditional debate positions turned on their heads.

Plus, Winnie the Pooh fans will love it. Don't ask; just click.


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