Friday, November 12, 2010

Krugman on the "Other Death Tax"

Krugman makes a useful point about the consequences of raising the Social Security eligibility age.  The argument in favor of increasing the eligibility age is that lifespans are increasing. But, Krugman argues, lifespans at the bottom of the chart are not increasing; so, once again, we would finance middle class lives by a tax on the poor.

It's a worthwhile point.  But as I recall, the Bushies made a similar argument back in the aughties when they were trying to privatize Social Security.  Blacks, they argued, had no real stake in the status quo because they died too soon.  This was understood by right-thinking people as a scandalous abuse of a deprived underclass for political gain.

In fact, I wasn't crazy about Bush privatization but I thought that particular argument rather a good one.  Anyway, if it was scandalous then, how come it is appropriate now?  Just askin'.

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