Over on the main site, Ross Kaminsky makes the case against means-testing Social Security benefits. It seems to me, however, that one of his main concerns about the idea has already come to pass: Social Security is a welfare program masquerading as an insurance program. People may think of it as forced savings, but that isn’t how the program really works.
The trust fund and individual account aspects of Social Security are accounting gimmicks. The payroll taxes we pay in are not really saved for our retirements. They are already paying for the benefits of the current retirees. When we retire, if we are very lucky, we will live off the payroll taxes of the poor working stiffs who remain. The trust fund is stuffed with IOUs; the government has already spent the surpluses. Al Gore’s lock box has been picked. Millions continue to draw benefits after they’ve already gotten back everything they paid in plus interest.
A problem with means-testing is that it will actually compound this last problem. As the Congressional Budget Office has reported, the highest income earners already receive the worst return on their payroll taxes. But the fact is Donald Trump’s payroll taxes are financing today’s retirees anyway. His hypothetical benefits would be paid for by other workers, including people working at Burger King. Why should conservatives fight to maintain the fictions that make possible the liberals’ Ponzi scheme?
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.