The Corner

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security Opportunism

The senator wants to expand Social Security, supposedly in response to the coronavirus. Charles Blahous goes through the reasons it’s a bad idea:

Some context is important here to understand just how damaging this proposal would be. Social Security already faces a financing shortfall, estimated at $13.9 trillion in present value, which is an enormous threat to current participants’ future benefits. An across-the-board benefit increase would not only worsen that financing shortfall, it would worsen several other severe problems facing Social Security, including: substantial net income losses the program would impose on younger workers, aggregate program cost burdens rising faster than taxpaying workers’ earnings, disincentives for workforce participation and discretionary saving, and pockets of regressive income transfers (i.e., from poorer Americans to richer ones).

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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