Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Larry Kotlikoff at PBS wins "worst non-answer" award of the week

You don't have to be ideologically in agreement with a position to recognize a complete and utter non-answer to a question.

In this case, a PBS viewer asked Kotilkoff why Congress doesn't extend the ceiling for Social Security taxes upward to increase revenue coming into the system.  It is not an unusual question--I've probably heard it about a million times.

But this has to be the worst non-answer ever given:
As an overview, Social Security's payroll tax is highly regressive. But it's benefit formula is highly progressive. On balance, the system is progressive. So Congress may feel that the system is already progressive enough.
Larry, you're kidding, right?  Congress has consciously balanced the regressive nature of the tax against the progressive nature of the benefits and decided the system is "progressive enough"?

Sure they did.

Oh--and a footnote for Larry and any PBS copy editors out there:  in the first line there should NOT be an apostrophe in the word "its."  "It's" is a contraction for "it is."  "Its" is the possessive for "belonging to it."  You're welcome.

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