Social Security's Double Standard
My latest in Bloomberg View is about the double standard which lingers in the background of all our public conversations about Social Security. Excerpt:
The political conversation around Social Security is filled with double standards. Its trust fund is a national asset one minute and debt by another name the next. The 12.4 percent payroll tax on incomes of as much as $113,700 in 2013 is a dedicated source of funding -- until, when politically convenient, the money becomes fungible for economic stimulus.
And yet, the most potent double standard may be how parties define the purpose of the program itself. Is it a publicly run, universal, national retirement-savings program? Or is it a safety net for the elderly and disabled who need it?