Op-eds and Articles

A progressive case for Social Security reform

With the campaign in its final weeks, there is at least one issue that both candidates agree on — preserving and expanding Social Security. We can “save Social Security” and cut taxes, as Donald Trump insists, merely by conjuring that elusive elixir of “economic growth.” Hillary Clinton goes further, calling to expand it for widows and caregivers, while increasing spending on underfunded domestic needs, paying for it all with higher taxes on that sliver of society known as “the rich.”

Progressives are absolutely right that that the nation needs to make essential investments in the future — in children and education, scientific and medical research, infrastructure, building an inclusive, higher-wage economy and creating a clean-energy economy. However, they can’t expand Social Security and spend more on a forward-looking domestic agenda without addressing the budgetary squeeze caused by growing Social Security and other mandatory entitlement spending. Just as Republicans won’t be able to preserve America’s largest and most popular program while cutting taxes.

The numbers just don’t add up and the premises come from the land of magical thinking.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle.