Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I just watched the Obama ad about Social Security and I disagree with the left wonkosphere. The ad has been widely criticized for asserting that there is a problem with social security which requires reform.

I note the text which flashed on the screen IIRC

1. protect benefits
2: no privatization
3: eliminate the FICA ceiling (I don't remember the exact words).

Roughly he said change nothing except increase taxes on richer people. I agree very strongly with Obama about his proposals. I suspect that the bloggers who criticized the ad do too. Also, back in the day, polls showed a solid majority of Americans in favor.

Note the same tax funds medicare which does have a problem (different ceiling but still a ceiling).

Note that the damaging effects of a budget deficit are the same whether or not the social security trust fund is in actuarial balance.

Finally remember Obama is talking about what he would do if he were elected President. In 2005 the Democrats were so weak that all they could do is block change or allow Republicans to do what they wanted. A newly elected President Obama has no need to be in a defensive crouch.

I think that lefty wonkobloggers have a Pavlovian response to the words "social security".

I tried to find the transcript of what Obama said and only watched the ad, because the link was prominent at an Obama site to which google sent me. My defense of the ad is based on text which appeared on the screen, not on what he said in the ad. I wonder if critics have relied on a transcript of what he said (as I would have if I had found it). I would have objected to an ad without the text outlining a policy proposal.

1 comment:

WonkoKevin said...

I think the point of the criticism is that this is not going to create much distance between him and the others, since their views are all about the same.