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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Robert Pozen's Liberal Plan for Social Security and Dean Baker's Conservative Plan for Tax Reform

Robert Pozen's Liberal Plan for Social Security and Dean Baker's Conservative Plan for Tax Reform

Thursday, 24 March 2011 04:44

Back in the old days news outlets used to try to have people associated with a political position represent that position. In other words, they used to have conservatives represent conservative positions, liberals represent liberal positions, etc. It just seemed reasonable to have the people who actually held a particular political standpoint present that standpoint to the public.

But, that was then. Now, with the ascendancy of the right over national politics, there is no reason to waste valuable space in major media outlets allowing those who are left of center to express their views. There are plenty of conservatives who regularly express their views in the opinion and news sections. Why not let some of them also express the views of those who are left of center as well?

This obviously was the position taken by the Washington Post when it decided to have Robert Pozen, a finance industry executive and advocate of Social Security privatization, tell liberals what their position should be on Social Security. David Leonhardt highlighted Pozen's "liberal plan" in his NYT blogpost today.

The gist of Mr. Pozen's proposal is to leave benefits mostly unchanged for the lowest wage earners while reducing benefits and raising the retirement age for middle income workers like school teachers, construction workers and fire fighters. By reducing the benefits for those in the middle, Mr. Pozen wants to make Social Security more "progressive." Naturally liberals who were troubled by high-living nurses and plumbers will rally behind this bold effort at redistributing income.

In keeping with this spirit, suppose that we had a media that tilted as much to the left as the current outlets tilt to the right. Obviously, people like me would have the opportunity to lay out what the conservative position should be on reforming the income tax code.

So, here's the outline of my proposal which the Post will be running next week. It will leave income taxes largely unchanged on the bottom 98 percent of taxpayers. We will raise the marginal tax rate to 50 percent on incomes between $250,000 and $10,000,000. Then we would have a zero tax bracket for income over $10,000,000. This means that the richest of the rich will pay considerably less under the Baker plan than under the current tax code. This should accomplish the upward redistribution that is central to the right's political agenda. 

I can't wait to see my column in the Post and highlighted as a conservative plan for tax reform in Leonhardt's blog.

Comments (5)Add Comment
TrickleTrickle is Not For the Fickel:A Dollar to the Rich is Only a Nickel
written by izzatzo, March 24, 2011 5:28
SHEEEEEEEEEZZZAAAM GOOBER! Somebody got through to the stupid liberals. They finally understand trickle down and now they're peeing all over themselves.
Media reform
written by leo, March 24, 2011 9:24
Nice to hear the media has mended its ways.
Property P
written by Ratzo Rube, March 24, 2011 12:58
I understood trickle down when the conservatives peed all over me (and continued to do so) during the entire GOP congress of recent date, I never peed myself. By the time this is over, izzatzo will be fertilizing his own britches as the angry mob descends upon him.
Pozen was the PPI Guru
written by Randy, March 25, 2011 3:42
You had me laughing so hard I was crying.

But it reality it is very sad what shows up in the Washington Post in relation to Social Security.

(and it seems to be getting worse not better)
Why not?
written by McMike, March 28, 2011 10:06
The media routinely lets conservatives tell us what liberal policies are and should be. There is only one frame these days: the right wing frame. We've devolved from he-said/she-said to he-said/he-said.

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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.