Monday, May 09, 2005


Krugman Speaks. You Listen.

The worthy Attaturk, in his capacity as one of Atrios' substitute bloggers for the week, quotes at length from The Great One's latest epistle. My own favorite passage goes like this (emphases mine):

...let me deal with a fundamental misconception: the idea that President Bush's plan would somehow protect future Social Security benefits. If the plan really would do that, it would be worth discussing. It's possible - not certain, but possible - that 40 or 50 years from now Social Security won't have enough money coming in to pay full benefits. (If the economy grows as fast over the next 50 years as it did over the past half-century, Social Security will do just fine.) So there's a case for making small sacrifices now to avoid bigger sacrifices later. But Mr. Bush isn't calling for small sacrifices now. Instead, he's calling for zero sacrifice now, but big benefit cuts decades from now - which is exactly what he says will happen if we do nothing. Let me repeat that: to avert the danger of future cuts in benefits, Mr. Bush wants us to commit now to, um, future cuts in benefits. This accomplishes nothing, except, possibly, to ensure that benefit cuts take place even if they aren't necessary.
Game, set and match to Professor Krugman. I can hear the outraged bellowings of the wingnuts in their Precambrian sheltered-workshop stink tanks even as I type this.

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