Paulson’s Call for Reduction in Social Security Benefits

Reuters reports:

Treasury Secretary nominee Henry Paulson said Tuesday that letting tax rates rise would be a mistake … At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Paulson clearly defined himself as a supporter of the Bush administration’s tax-cutting zeal

Let’s stop there as Paulson went on to claim tax cuts are pro-growth, which he should know is pure BS. So how would he reduce the deficit?

In response to repeated questions, he emphasized that he was concerned about the size of U.S. budget deficits and said it was vital to impose spending discipline to control them … In response to wide-ranging questioning, Paulson said America faces a “formidable challenge” funding government health and retirement plans and must tackle it soon. An aging population that will increasingly strain the resources of Social Security and Medicare means the problems cannot be simply set aside, he said. “I really do believe that we need to begin very seriously the process of addressing them because the earlier we step up to these issues, the less costly will be the ultimate solution,” he said in response to questions.

Paulson seems to agree with Jagadeesh Gokhale. I don’t for reasons that are very ably expressed by Mark Thoma. Interestingly, these views are coming in time for the voters to consider in the November 2006 elections.

Update: Mark Thoma has more on the GOP’s “posturing for the elections in the fall” Let me just repeat my comment at Mark’s place:

What’s that Dirty Harry line – “make my day”. God I hope the GOP does makes the Soc. Sec. issue a central issue in the 2006 campaigns. Notice they did not say one PEEP about this before the 2004 elections?