A False Dilemma Over Social Security

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Written by CEPR   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 12:40
Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor at the Washington Post, told readers on Sunday that there's a conflict growing between "accountability liberals" and "nostalgia liberals" over Social Security. According to Hiatt, "accountability liberals" believe Social Security reform — in the form of scaling back benefits to the wealthy, or means testing — is necessary to save the program. "Nostalgia liberals," on the other hand, believe this type of reform could cause the program to lose support and funding. Even if you choose to accept Hiatt's ridiculous either-or fallacy, as Dean Baker points out over at Beat the Press the only way to save a substantial amount through means testing would be to extend it to people earning $30,000 a year. That's not exactly "wealthy."