A few thoughts on Social Security, FDR and Taxes

Thinking about Mary’s post on Krugman and his take on things.  I continue to be completely convinced that Obama should have made Paul Krugman the Environmental Czar for a two year project to right the economy back in January 2009.

Nope, Obama had to go with Goldman Sachs guys like Geithner, Bernanke. Similarly, Obama seems to think that Alan Simpson is the guy who knows how to fix Social Security.  Hm..  how about checking in with Ezra Klein first?

Ezra Klein makes the cut for the big look at Social Security and his article in the Washington Post.  

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (that’s a hyperlink graph to the left for the wonks who want words to go with picture) has extensive analysis of the economic benefits of Social Security, the costs of keeping the fund solvent (assuming we could keep Congress from robbing the fund to invade Iran, Venezuela, or Grenada again).

This is really not a matter of economics, it is a matter of priorities.  Do we want to continue the shift of wealth and income to the top 1 to 5% of the population or do we want to shift the wealth and income of the country back into the hands of folks with no trust funds or banker bonuses in their futures?

So, we make Social Security healthy by simply trading that cost for letting the tax cuts for the rich expire. Sounds fine to me.

That simple change fixes Social Security.

The next step to really fix the economy of this country would be to reinstate a steeply progressive tax rate model in the near future.

And remember, when the trolls say that a steeply progressive tax rate will stifle the economy and cost jobs, that all we have to do is to direct their attention to the Eisenhower era.   Here is a decidely wonky analysis from Santa Cruz wannabe Steve Kangas.  Steve is looking for help getting out of Vegas, VEGAS, BABY!, and back to more left coasterly environs.

It ain’t rocket science.  Higher top rates spur investment in infrastructure.  Infrastructure is good for communities.

clipped from www.washingtonpost.com

Making Social Security less generous isn’t the answer

There are a lot of things Congress doesn’t know right now. What to do about jobs, for instance. Who’ll be running the House come January. How to balance the budget. But there is one thing that both parties increasingly seem to agree on: You should work longer.

And so what? Lurking beneath this conversation is an unquestioned assumption: We live longer, so we should work longer. That’s pretty intuitive to members of Congress, who seem to like their jobs and don’t seem to like the idea of retiring. It’s also pretty intuitive to blogger/columnists, who spend their time in air-conditioned rooms opining about pension programs. But most people don’t work in Congress or in the media. They work on their feet. They strain their backs. They’re bored silly at the end of the day. By the time they’re in their 60s, they want to retire.

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