Archive for March, 2010

Why the Deficit Commission Won’t Cut Social Security: A History Lesson

Nostalgists for some imagined, bygone era of bipartisanship don’t hold out a lot of hope for the deficit commission. They’re right, but for the wrong reasons. With a few exceptions, blue-ribbon presidential commissions are dismissed as window dressing, a polite way to kick the can down the road on a particular issue. Obama’s National Commission […]

Read this book!

In his new book, Moshe Adler shows how a few bad economic ideas have done so much harm to so many. Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science that Makes Life Dismal is a new book by Moshe Adler, a Columbia University economist (and – full disclosure – a personal friend). Despite the […]

Health Care Reform, Act II

Progressives should be happy their health care reform bill came out far from perfect. In some ways, it’ll benefit them more than if they’d got all they wanted. Conservatives are denouncing health care reform as a ruthless power grab, propelled by “the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state.” They know whereof they […]

The Emperor’s (Old) Clothes

Ryan’s deficit elimination plan shows that the Republican still haven’t figured out how to square the circle on Social Security privatization. Everyone seems to like Rep. Paul Ryan. The gangly Wisconsin Republican comes off as so earnest and public-spirited that hardened Washington pros lean over hard to think the best of him. Free-market doctrinaires love […]

Is Social Security really a Ponzi scheme?

The answer, for the umpteen-thousandth time: It’s not! Here’s why. The Ponzi metaphor is back with a vengeance. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, snatching hard at the “Republican presidential hopeful” tag, last month posted an op-ed on in which he accused the entire federal government of being a “Ponzi scheme on the Potomac.” But of […]