Tuesday, May 24, 2005

More Democrats' Lies about Social Security

Don Luskin has this piece at NRO which exposes another flagrant lie about the President's proposals.
Democrats are attacking the idea of progressive price indexing as an attempt to slash benefits for the middle class. But that’s simply a lie. According to Social Security Administration models, for the middle 20 percent of average lifetime wage earners — surely that defines the “middle class” — progressive price indexing would increase benefits payable in 2050 from $1,208 (in 2005 dollars) to $1,380. And that doesn’t even include the additional increase in benefits that would accrue from investing in personal accounts. And the benefit improvement is even greater for workers below the middle class.

The Democrats are ignoring those figures. Instead, liberal think tanks (like the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities) and liberal pundits (like Paul Krugman) are focusing on the purportedly middle-class $60,000 wage earner, whose benefits — they claim — would be lower under progressive price indexing. The claims are false, because these opponents ignore the fact that, under current law, benefits will automatically be slashed across-the-board after 2041 when the Social Security Trust Fund’s assets are depleted.

And the Democrats’ claims are false because $60,000 in Social Security wages is anything but middle class. Remember, your wages used for calculating Social Security benefits are an average of your 35 best years. If that average is $60,000, chances are it included a number of years when your earnings were considerably less. With that in mind it should be no surprise that, according to the Social Security Administration actuaries, only 15 percent of Social Security beneficiaries have $60,000 or more in average earnings. Yet Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi calls such people “solidly middle class.”

Isn't it interesting how flexible Democrats can be? The top 15% is "solidly middle class" in this instance. Of course, when the topic was tax cuts, those whose earnings are in far lower percentiles were called "the rich".


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