Who Likes Phase-Out? Not the Affluent...

| Thu Apr. 28, 2005 2:47 PM EDT

Wow, a new poll reveals that 48 percent of all "business owners" and 49 percent of all "affluent consumers" don't think Social Security phase-out is a good idea. Maybe they realize that financial collapse because of trillions of dollars of new debt really isn't such a good thing after all.

Speaking of which, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a new analysis of the radical Sununu-Ryan plan for privatization, now being touted by House conservatives who have given up any pretense that "reforming" Social Security is all about fiscal sanity and averting future actuarial imbalances.

The thing to see here is that the Sununu-Ryan plan would require transfers from the general budget of $79 trillion over the next 75 years. In other words, all you need to do is wave a magic wand and pour in trillions of dollars, and you can create a really cool social program! Well, no kidding. Look, if you think Social Security is currently on an "unsustainable course" all because we may need to raise either income or payroll taxes slightly over the next 75 years to continue paying out the full benefits promised by the program, that's one thing. But please note, if the ground rules dictate that we're allowed to transfer $79 trillion over the next 75 years from the general budget to Social Security, then we can pretty much solve any of our current problems three times over. How long before the press realizes that all this carping about "insolvency" by Republicans is really just a red herring?