Monday, March 14, 2005

Kevin Drum on Social Security - February 2005

This is a roughly annotated bibliography of Kevin Drum's writings on Social Security
during the month of February, 2005. I had started to include everything he has blogged,
not realizing just how much he has written on the subject.

Killing social Security
Discussion of why Bush wants to kill Social Security.
Social Security NewsThe deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration has been roaming the country to appear with Republican congressmen at events designed to promote private accounts.
Retirement age Should the Social Security retirement age be raised?
Private accounts around the country Where else have private retirement accounts been tried in the US?
The privatization Trojan Horse Discussion of a Washington Post editorial.
Calculator Cage Match Another Social Security calculator. The main thing it demonstrates is how much the assumptions used effect the result, but remember, this is the basic characteristic of the entire Social Security phase-out debate.
Crisis? What crisis? Another of Kevin Drum's excellent charts that clearly establishes what the numbers really tell us.
Private Accounts Done Right Kevin Drum discusses a relatively reasonable "private accounts" plan offered by Phil Longman of Fortune Magazine.
Post Hoc Bullshit. Kevin Drum discusses the problem that if the future economy is so bad that Social Security will not be able to pay full benefits, how will the stock market be able to perform well enough to take up the slack?
Just a Thought Paul Glastris asks why 2018 matters.
Fool me once Discussion of the Washington Post's editorial on why private accounts are good.
The Public and Social Sceurity What arguments for privatization are likely to resonate with the public?
GUVMINT SPENDING Public misunderstandings of government spending.
Everyone's Favorite Subject: The Trust Fund Discussion of the Social Security Trust Fund.
Budget Magic Discussion of the accuracy of the numbers the administration provided to Congress when attempting to pass the Medicare Drug Bill. [Let's not forget that the White House threatened the Medicare Chief Actuary with being fired if he gave Congress the latest and best – and much higher – cost numbers during deliberation and the vote.]
The Evolution of Social Security How severe IS the problem with Social Security, and why must it be solved now?
The Budget
In discussing the budget offered by Bush to Congress, Kevin points out that the proposed budget does not include the costs of Iraq, Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) revision or Social Security transition costs.
Looking Glass Journalism Kevin takes several editorialists to task for blaming Democrats for rejecting various possible solutions when it is the Republicans who have taken those solutions off the table.
The White House and the Trust Fund Kevin Drum asks if President Bush is really saying that the Federal Government will default on the treasury bonds held by the Social Security Trust Fund when Social Security starts to cash them in?
Newspeak Watch, Part 2 a comment on the Republican effort to change the terminology from "private accounts" to the more focus-group-favorable "personal accounts."
The Social Security Con Game Kevin discusses how the conservatives have successfully sold the idea that government sucks generally.
Hack Watch Kevin takes Britt Hume of FOX to task for misrepresenting what Harry Reid said.
Democrats and Social Security Kevin Drum takes Nick Kristof (NY Times Editorial writer) to task for misrepresenting the Social Security conflict and blaming Democrats for what the Republicans are causing.
It's a Small World Kevin refers us to a Colombia Journalism Review discussion of the Wall Street Journal's discussion of privatized retirement accounts around the world. Since the WSJ is subscription only, this is a good substitute.
Framing Debate Kevin takes a brief and possibly humorous look at how to reframe the Social Security debate.
Defaulting on the Trust Fund Kevin discusses Matt Ygleisias' effort to explain President Bush's Social Security program, and points out the difficulty of this explanation since GWB has never offered a Social Security program. [Note. He still hasn't as of March 14, 2005.]
A New Trojan Horse. Kevin points out that the argument behind President Bush's Social Security reform discussion is: In order to solve Social Security's future deficit, we have to cut benefits. But if we give everyone a private account invested in the stock market, the returns from the accounts will be high enough to make up for the benefit cuts. Essentially this is another Republican "Free Lunch" proposal like Reagan's "Supply Side Economics" fantasy and "Dynamic Scoring."
Talking about Social Security Kevin excerpts some conclusions Ruy Teixeira has come to (based on his analysis of polls) on how to discuss the Social Security issue
George Bush's Rube Goldberg Folly Kevin discusses the Washington Post's idea of a set of Rube Goldberg safeguards and limitations required just to make sure that the new system can do what the current system already does, namely provide a guaranteed, stable retirement income for old people.
The Democratic Response Short comment on Harry Reid's response to Bush's State of the Union message.
State of the Union 2005 liveblogging Self-explanatory. Kevin live blogs SOTU.
Language Control Comments on the Republican effort to change the language from "private accounts" to "personal accounts."
Number Crunching Kevin discusses Paul Krugman's inadequate math behind the privatization scheme. Krugman is a well-known and well-respected Economist who has a grasp on the actual numbers and can explain what they mean.


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