Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wow Donpedro at Economists for Obama objects to Obama's proposed FICA increase

He writes

On Social Security, my view is that Krugman is right--we have bigger priorities right now than worrying about the possibility of a long-run shortfall in the Social Security Trust Fund. But he and I are in the minority among liberal-minded economic policy watchers. The same Tax Policy Center gurus that Krugman cites fault Obama for not doing enough to address Social Security.


OK Pedro, let me ask you a rhetorical question "have you learned nothing in the past 28 years ?" Reagan and both Bushes have proven beyond any doubt that one does not have to choose between adding to the social security trust fund and other priorities.
There is no lock box. The money in the trust fund can and will be spent to pay for health care reform. Putting money in the trust fund makes does not imply limits on other uses for the money.

Now I can see that Obama's almost open declaration of willingness to consider the tust fund to be free cash on hand might displease those angry with Reagan and the Bushes for doing the same thing. Obama is saying the money is going into the trust fund, because he has noticed that US voters will accept even an increase in the taxes they personally pay so long as the money goes into the trust fund. He is using a trick discovered by Reagan. However, he is using it to try to make it possible for everyone to get health insurance.

The willful blindness of people who claim not to see what is going on is comprehensible only if they are strategically trying to convince voters that Obama is more centrist than he is.

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