Social Security Debate: The DeLong Talking Points

Brad DeLong provides this list, which we should all print and refer to as we discuss this issue. My version will have two edits to Brad’s excellent list. This bullet point has been put in bold:

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is in general not a good idea.

Conservatives love this expression when the discussion is about redistribution of income. But this is exactly what the Bush-Greenspan agenda is: to pay for tax cuts on capital income by diverting the retirement benefits paid for by payroll contributions, which will become a backdoor increase in employment taxes.

I have also scribbled in the line “There is No Free Lunch”. Why? The Bush backers are claiming that privatization will somehow magically create over $10 trillion in wealth. Now who could be against receiving $10 trillion in wealth as if it were magically manna from heaven? But does any conservative economist really believe this claim?