Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Brad, right and wrong

Brad gives his arguments on why a Kerry presidency would be more fiscally responsible than a Bush presidency:
1)Bush is bad
2)Kerry is responsible about budget discipline
3)Kerry's team is really smart, just like Clinton's.
I like Clinton's economic team a lot, and was very impressed with Bob Rubin when I met him (certainly compared to that Bush joker who used to run Alcoa and when to Africa with Bono). But I will note that the US's long term budget situation is in jeapardy because of entitlement programs and it is Bush that wants to trim those entitlements by making them more progressive. Does Brad praise Bush for progress on this front?

Update Brad has a piece on the same topic in Slate. Here, he argues that Bush is bad to make social security solvent by means-testing it, because means-tested programs are unpopular. But as things stand, social security is "means-tested" for age, because it benefits old people at the cost of young people. If Bush truly has partisan Democrats saying "let's help old people and hurt young people instead of helping poor people and hurting rich people", then politically he's done very well.

Just to be clear, I am very open to any Democrat plan that makes social security solvent. They just haven't done this yet. I am even more open to a Democrat plan that fixes the incentive problem (like private accounts do). Social Security is not a partisan thing, it effects all Americans, and I think all Americans want it fixed. If Pozen does little more than goad the Democrats to coming up with good alternatives, I think he's contributed to the debate.


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