Supporters of Social Security Privatization: Economists v. Political Hacks

Via Max Sawicky whose latest includes lots of links to economists who might support social cecurity privatization including this contribution from David Altig.

As I read David’s very sensible comments, I could not help notice how his honest analysis contradicts much of what Senator Bill Frist said on this show during his Sunday interview. Alas, ABC does not put their transcripts on the net but Frist said that the current system is “bankrupt”, privatization would increase national savings and the accumulation of capital and thus lead to higher long run income and growth, and privatization would somehow increase returns to investment. Frist also kept repeating the $10.4 trillion shortfall figure never noting this was the shortfall over the infinite future, or the fact that this shortfall presents a mere 1% of the present value of GDP over the same horizon. In fact, Frist went on to claim that increasing payroll contributions to the Trust Fund would not address the solvency issue at all.

Now given that the GOP has to sell its agenda with such incredibly brazen lies, I just wish one of the sensible supporters of privatization would call Frist, Bush, et al. on their lies. Otherwise, I suspect the GOP leadership has ulterior motives – such as transfering the tax burden for the General Fund away from taxation of capital income and towards taxation of employment. Now if this is the real GOP agenda – could they just SAY SO?