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January 02, 2005

Grownup Republican Watch

James Glassman (no, not James Glassman of Lobbyist Central Station and "Dow 36000", but Another James Glassman) went off the Bushie reservation at last month's White House economic conference. Kudos to him:

washingtonpost.com: Revamping Social Security: The trustees currently put the date of trust fund "exhaustion" at 2042.... In 1994, the Social Security trustees projected the system would run out of IOUs to redeem in 2029.... The Congressional Budget Office this summer projected the date of exhaustion to be 2052, a 10-year difference stemming from very small changes in economic assumptions. Many economists -- conservative and liberal -- say the economic future is considerably brighter still. The trustees assume annual economic growth will slow to a crawl by 2015... [at] half the growth rate the United States has averaged since the Civil War, said James Glassman, senior U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan Chase, who sees no reason why that would happen. "There still are problems, but it's not the fiscal doomsday that people imagine," said Glassman, who delivered that sanguine outlook at a White House economic conference earlier this month.

And there are some non-grownup Republicans:

Marc Summerlin, a former Bush White House economist, noted that under the current Social Security system, faster economic growth can delay the date of reckoning, but it cannot save the system.

Now that's simply a lie. Shame on Summerlin. And shame on Jonathan Weisman for printing it.

Posted by DeLong at January 2, 2005 08:00 AM

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Comments

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR04/II_project.html#wp106217 (trust fund ratios)
Alternative ( I ) looks pretty saved to me. And it presupposes 2004 growth of 2.8%, not the 4.0% that actually rolled in.

The biggest challenge faced by the Trustees this year will be finding numbers that don't fail the laugh test.
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR04/V_economic.html#wp159107 (economic projections)

Posted by: Bruce Webb at January 2, 2005 08:15 AM


Brad, there you go again with the shame thing. They have no shame.

By the way, it may be that Glassman is more honest because he understands what "fiduciary responsibility" means.

Posted by: larry birnbaum at January 2, 2005 09:39 AM


"Marc Summerlin, a former Bush White House economist, noted that under the current Social Security system, faster economic growth can delay the date of reckoning, but it cannot save the system."

No, Brad, this isn't a lie at all.

Summerlin never specifies what the system is to be saved *from*.

And he's correct, in that no rate of fast economic growth could possibly save the Social Security system from the mendacious, incompetent, disingenuous meddling of Bush's right-wing ideologues.

Posted by: Jon H at January 3, 2005 08:57 AM


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