Monday, December 20, 2004

The deceptions add up on Social Security

The deceptions add up on Social Security
By Thomas Oliphant
Boston Globe
December 19, 2004
FOUR YEARS ago, the commission on Social Security that Richard Parsons was co-chairing for President Bush warned with a bit too much hype that "the promise of Social Security to future retirees cannot be met without eventual resort to benefit cuts, tax increases, or massive borrowing."
Speaking for himself, the Time Warner executive said simply that "there is no pain-free way and no quick way" to deal with a problem of this size and complexity.
Last week, however, Parsons put aside his once-balanced view of Social Security to serve as a prop for Bush's stink bomb of a conference to promote his "vision" for second-term economic policy. This time around, the word was that the White House wanted stark portrayals of impending crisis, not comprehensive ideas for solution.
This time around, Parsons was on message, calling the status quo that collects payroll taxes to pay current benefits impossible to maintain as the ratio of taxpaying workers to check-cashing retirees continues to narrow....