While I’m obviously no fan of overheated critiques of supply-side economics, some tax-cutters have an aversion to cutting on the spending side of the ledger that gives their critics ammunition. If Social Security benefits are indexed to inflation rather than wages, no one will see their monthly checks reduced. Instead, the promised benefits will be brought more in line with the government’s ability to pay. This is a cut only in the Washington sense of the word.
Secondly, as long as benefits are tied to wages we can’t realistically expect to entirely grow out of insolvency. The economic growth will increase wages, which will in turn increase benefits as well as revenues. A combination of price indexing and personal accounts, as advocated by the current administration, remains a promising way forward on Social Security reform.
It is good to see Republican presidential candidates coming up with ideas about entitlement reform. It would be even better if conservatives didn’t repeat liberal arguments about benefit cuts.