More on the WaPo's Social Security myopia.
Yesterday we noted the Post's Social Security editorial in which the well-heeled Posties agreed that deep cuts in benefits were surely a good thing and that ...
If workers aren't happy with a pension that, while generous in relation to the living standards of their younger years, feels stingy in relation to their earnings immediately before retirement, they can, if not in the lower brackets, save privately to supplement their Social Security benefit; if healthy, they also can postpone retirement.
This editorial is the sort of historical document <$Ad$>that makes you want to go back and reread each of Mike Lind's books from the early 1990s about politics and political economy -- which is always a good thing to do in any case. But for the moment let's go back to the editorial board's myopia.
The authors observe that recipients, instead of whining about the cuts, should simply save more on their own -- as long as they're "not in the lower brackets."
Now, there aren't that many tax brackets. In fact, if memory serves there are now six federal tax brackets
-- 10%, 15%, 25%, 28% 33% and 35%. For next year, the upper three brackets are for joint-filing couples making making $120,000 a year and up and individuals who make over $72,000.
By inference, this must be the class of whiners the Post
is addressing since these are the folks who are "not in the lower brackets." Does the Post
really think that these high-income earners are the folks this debate is about? Or the folks for whom Social Security represents a critical component of their retirement security?
Later, the editorialists argue that the "poor" should receive unspecified "special protections" from the benefit cutting.
But does anybody seem like they're left out of this picture? Right, the overwhelming majority of Americans in those lower three brackets who spend their lifetimes making middle-class wages -- Bill Clinton's folks who 'work hard and play by the rules.'
They aren't 'poor'. So they wouldn't qualify for the "special protections" (i.e., old age welfare) that the Post
advises. And they rely on the Social Security they've been paying into all their lives as a key protection against having to become poor in their retirement years.
They're just not in the Post's
field of vision.