December 13, 2011

PAUL RAHE: Is Means-Testing Social Security Just? “As things stand, we live in a world in which something close to half of Americans pay no income tax at all. The top ten percent of earners bear the bulk of the burden. Means-testing – which already exists for Food Stamps, Medicaid, and the like – would serve only to reinforce a set of arrangements that is not only an outrage but counter-productive to boot. Why should anyone in today’s America work really hard, scrimp, and save? After all, in the end, you will only be punished for your efforts. . . . If the Republicans win and win big in 2012, they are likely to take the same malicious principle and extend it to Social Security and Medicare. They ought to know better. But even the best of them – and I say this about men whom I admire – do not. Someone should pull John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Tom Coburn, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and the Governor of Indiana aside and whisper in their ears, ‘When the Tea-Party sprang up in 2009, its initial adherents carried signs reading, “Honk if you are paying someone else’s mortgage?” You would do well to take notice!’”

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