Dec 6, 2013

Third Way Is A Fraud

    Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times has a fine article on Senator Warren's response to a misleading Third Way op ed in the Wall Street Journal. 
     The right wing lies about Social Security are out of hand and it mostly starts with bogus front groups like "Third Way" which poses as a centrist organization but which is nothing of the sort. Its board is thoroughly dominated by Wall Street and corporate executives who want no change in current law that allows most of their high incomes to escape the FICA tax while every penny of Joe Sixpack's income is taxed.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's worth noting that some of Third Way's own members have called BS on that particular op-ed. And to whatever extent Third Way can be criticized for Wall Street/corporate ties, those ties surely pale in comparison to those of both the Democrats and Republicans at the highest levels. Just saying...

Don Levit said...

The article states that since 2010 there has not been deficits in the trust fund. This is because the author considers interest on the bonds as adding to the surplus. It adds to the surplus on an acounting basis, but not on a cash basis.
This is why only non interest income is considered on a cash flow bais.
Even SS acknowledges the cash deficits since 2010.
What is more relevant: cash deficits or accounting surpluses?
Don Levit

Anonymous said...

Regarding raising of the FICA tax ceiling to help ensure S.S. long term solvency: I would think we would need to talk about raising the benefit ceiling as well. It would help to make the push to raise the ceiling more legitimate. Anyone earning above $117k would demand this and rightfully so. Comments??

Anonymous said...

Would you then suggest that benefits be "indexed" to cash flow? That benefits be reduced now that boomers are retiring? Ignore the existence of the trust fund? What do you think policy should be based on your arguments??

Anonymous said...

@ 3:16

What you suggest sounds fine, but you realize that the increase in max benefits can't be too large or it will wipe out the increase from the higher cap. If the ceiling is raised, I guarantee the next time there's a funding issue, the ceiling will stay as high (because the rich always keep theirs) and Congress will just cut somewhere else (i.e. from funds that would have gone to help people who aren't rich).

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Anonymous said...

There is no benefit ceiling at the moment. The only ceiling that exists is de facto, the result of the calculation of the benefit that cannot use income above the cap. As the cap is raised, the maximum possible benefit goes up as well.

It is possible to impose a ceiling if the cap is raised, but that does not exist now. And, yes, if there is no cap at all, those with incomes in the millions of dollars per year, say athletes or top corporate executives, might be entitled to a large benefit.

And for young athletes in particular, a disability cap might be appropriate. I will leave it to others when, and if, the cap is raised or eliminated to discuss where that cap, if any, should be.