Being Honest with the Kids …

… about their Social Security money. Via Brad DeLong, Daniel Froomkin notes that President Bush is Exploiting a Misconception. Congressman Kendrick Meek tells young voters the truth:

MIAMI, Florida (AP) — Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Florida, appealed to young taxpayers Saturday to oppose President Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security, saying they had to the most to lose from the change.

Has Meek been reading Mark Thoma? Alas, Mark endures the writings of Lawrence Kudlow:

Hopes were high that little could stop the implementation of a true conservative agenda, one that featured supply-side economic reform, investor-owned Social Security reform, serious budget restraint, large-scale energy deregulation, legal-abuse-curbing tort reform, and the confirmation of pro-business, pro-life judicial nominees.

What makes this spring dreary for Lawrence actually makes me glad as Bush wants legislative changes that will undermine Social Security. As far as confirming rightwing judicial activists, he failed to explain how that would increase economic growth as he failed to explain what he meant supply-side economic reform. The recent tax cuts have led to less national savings and Kudlow knows that President Bush is not proposing sufficient spending cuts to offset this reduction.

Finally, Mark’s readers asked about the following odd line from Kudlow:

The Senate, if you can believe it, just delivered a budget-busting pork-laden $295 billion highway bill, featuring several thousand special-interest earmarks and a phony tax-transfer from general revenues to the trust fund.

One reader suggested that Kudlow was referring to the highway trust fund, but note the differences in what is being proposed as far as spending is small relative to the massive transfer away from the Social Security Trust Fund to give more reductions in taxes on capital income. If Mr. Kudlow wishes to be honest with the kids – let him simply admit that reducing their future Social Security benefits is the only serious means for paying for today’s reduction in taxes on capital income.