Overheard on the Web, and other Web links From The Herald's Research Editor
Saturday, January 29, 2005
On that crisis
There's an article worth reading in Rolling Stone, The Fake Crisis, an interview with Paul Krugman, who's been writing about the administration's reform proposals. He's trying to beat down the perception that there's a crisis in Social Security, and his figures are interesting:
"Even if the trust fund does run out, Social Security will still be able to pay eighty percent of promised benefits. The actual shortfall would be a pretty small part of the federal budget, quite easily made up from other sources. Once the whole baby-boomer generation is into the retirement pool, Social Security's share of the gross domestic product will only increase by about two percent. Well, President Bush's tax cuts are more than two percent of GDP -- and they're happening right now, not fifty years from now. So the idea that there's this Social Security thing that is a huge problem is just wrong.
...It's hard to understand why anyone would want to return us to the days before the New Deal, when millions of elderly people lived in poverty. But if you really dislike the notion that the government provides a safety net for the poor, then Social Security is the prime target."
Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the
Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at Herald.com in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the
News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to