Economist Says Social Security Is in No Need of Rescue

The Social Security system is in "pretty good financial shape," writes Princeton University economist Paul Krugman in his The New York Times column.

Those who contend otherwise are right-wing ideologues who are seeking an excuse to privatize the program, Krugman declares. He says that ideologically driven institutions that are trying to alarm Americans about the fate of Social Security now include the U.S. Treasury, which issued a report purporting to show a looming fiscal crisis for the program.

In fact, says Krugman, "it would take only modest injections of money to maintain that system's current benefit levels for at least the next 75 years." The Bush tax cuts are a much bigger problem for the nation's fiscal future than the Social Security shortfall, he says.

The biggest risk to Social Security is from those who would "save" it by privatizing it, Krugman contends. He likens rescuing Social Security by privatizing it to eating doughnuts to lose weight.

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