Fairfax, VA: Do you agree with Paul Krugman’s assertion that the President’s recent plan to cut social security benefits actually falls mostly on the middle class and not the wealthiest?
Steven Pearlstein: No, it was very intellectually dishonest. All he was really saying is that, for rich people, Social Security benefits are a small part of their post retirement income. In truth, any cut in benefit will fall mostly on the middle class because the middle class gets most of the benefits. Its sophistry, really.
I suspect neither the caller nor Pearlstein carefully read Paul Krugman’s op-ed, which was very careful in defining the metric to be estimated percentage of total retirement benefits lost. And I guess Mr. Pearlstein does not understand that a middle class worker gets more benefits than a low income worker because he pays more into the system.