Another Attempt to Destroy Social Security

The Trump White House is looking to propose a stimulus where people will be required to sign away a portion of their Social Security benefits for a payment now.

🚨 COVID paper alert 🚨

Excited to share a new paper with @sc_cath and @mjmill611

We show that allowing workers to access a tiny % of their future Social Security benefits today can provide the liquidity they need to weather this storm.


— Natasha Sarin (@NatashaRSarin) May 5, 2020

This is a transparent strategy to cut social security benefits to reduce its popularity, so that the money can be shoveled out to private accounts where Wall Street will profit from egregious fees and the like.

As an aside, it turns out that a senior Biden Advisor Larry Summers’ protege and sometime co-author Natasha Sarin supports the same death of a thousand cuts to social security. (See the embedded Tweet)

The Trump administration is casting this idea as a way to keep the deficit down, but considering the fact that they are trying to cut more taxes, and there is always money for more war, it’s clear that they want to destroy the most popular federal program one bit at the time:


Senior White House economic officials also are exploring a proposal floated by two conservative scholars that would allow Americans to choose to receive checks of up to $5,000 in exchange for a delay of their Social Security benefits, according to three people familiar with the internal matter. That plan was written by Andrew Biggs of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and Joshua Rauh of the right-leaning Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Senior administration officials have discussed the “Eagle Plan,” a 29-page memo that called for an overhaul of federal retirement programs in exchange for upfront payments to some workers, but the White House has already rejected it, according to three administration officials. A copy of the plan was obtained by The Washington Post.

The proposal calls for giving Americans $10,000 upfront in exchange for curbing their federal retirement benefits, such as Social Security, the report says. Art Laffer, a conservative economist who is advising the White House on its economic response, said in an interview he reviewed the presentation and supports it.

Of course Laffer likes it.

Laffer has been an idiot ideologue has been arguing that cutting taxes to basically nothing will generate more revenues, which failed so abysmally with Sam Brownback in Kansas.

There is, of course a point where higher taxes reduce revenues, but the best evidence puts this at 75%±15%, not the less than 20% that Laffer argues for on things like corporate and capital gains taxes.

Social security is a system which by any metric is more efficient and more effective than the private sector, but the Randroid free market mousketeers believe that government programs are an ineluctable evil, so even if 80% of the benefits line the pockets of Wall Street, they support killing it.

They hate Social Security because it works, not because it doesn’t.

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