September 16, 2004

Front v Back Loading

While reading an IBD article meta-analyzing a Washington Post analysis of Bush spending plans it became clear that the bulk of Bush spending, as scored, were in transitional costs to avoid the impending insolvency of Social Security.

John Kerry's proposal is not to cut benefits and not to privatize. That leaves raising taxes (the amounts are too huge to politically support) or borrowing the money. Since the crisis won't happen in the next 10 years, Kerry's spending score on this issue is much better than Bush's. The problem is that by back loading the expense, it makes the adjustments more rushed, more painful for all of us when they come, and it makes it that much more likely that the political pain at the time will see the end of Social Security and the loss of a decent sized chunk of an awful lot of people's retirement plans.

Front loading any large entitlement fix is the fiscally responsible and compassionate thing to do. George Bush is doing his part, and getting punished for it.

Posted by TMLutas at September 16, 2004 02:13 PM