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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press For Governor Mitch Daniels High Income is $60,000 a Year

For Governor Mitch Daniels High Income is $60,000 a Year

Wednesday, 05 January 2011 05:58

The NYT profiled Indiana's governor Mitch Daniels as a responsible deficit hawk. At one point it describes his agenda for saving money on Social Security and Medicare:

"Benefits should be cut for high-income and healthy people."

It is worth noting that most of the proposals for changes in the Social Security benefit formula of the type described in the article would reduce benefits for people who have had average earnings as low as $40,000 a year. This is not an income level that would usually be described as "high income." For tax purposes, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have used $200,000 as a cutoff.

Comments (6)Add Comment
Healthy people?
written by JHM, January 05, 2011 5:38
I find Medicare pretty mysterious, but if His Hoosier Excellency knows some way I can get money out of it without being sick, I wish he'd reveal it.

Happy days (through affordable healthcare)
Daniels joke
written by Fd, January 05, 2011 6:25
Mich Daniels is a joke
Mitch Daniels Makes Profound Discovery: Monopolies Are Extinct
written by izzatzo, January 05, 2011 7:35
From the NYT article, this quote:
“Government is, essentially, the last monopoly,” he said. “Monopolies tend to abuse their position. They overcharge and underserve their customers.” No matter how bad the service at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, you can’t get your license anywhere else.

Governor Daniels said when he is President, he will abolish all regulation of private monopolies since they don't exist anymore, then privatize all government functions, starting with driver licenses sold on eBay.

Daniels held up the Duke Power coal gasification plant cost overrun scandal in his own state as a glowing example of how government failure creates market failure for otherwise highly competitive firms never too big to fail.

When asked how huge corporations could function in the absence of competition and regulation at the same time while distributing efficiency gains to themselves, Daniels noted that ever since he was five years old and watched socialists using public sidewalks provided by a government monopoly, he knew there was a huge amount of deadweight loss to society that could be corrected by having many competing private sidewalks that run parallel with each other.
written by PeonInChief, January 05, 2011 9:42
The problem is that because most people don't make that much money, the only way to means test Social Security and save an appreciable sum is to start cutting it for people who make more than $35K. That's not even middle income, let alone middle class.

Means testing for actually middle class people wouldn't save as much as the means testing would cost. And someone did this computation when the Dems proposed it in the 1990s.
SS is a welfare program that pays most of its money to rich and middle class
written by Floccina, January 05, 2011 2:57
Welfarize SS paying the same amount to all retired people and eliminate the FICA tax.

Because robbing Peter to later pay Peter makes no sense.
written by jamzo, January 05, 2011 6:36
daniels represents social security is a welfare program school of thought

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.