Besides Reforming Social Security, What Ideas Do You Have for Reforming Social Security?

Pat Toomey, the Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania US Senate race, said in a debate this week that his opponent Joe Sestak has no plans for reforming Social Security besides raising taxes and cutting spending.

Ha. Well, look. This won't get very much news treatment because Democrats don't want anything to happen to Social Security and conservative Republicans would prefer to see the whole thing privatized to give families a chance to have a higher reward on their retirement investments, even if it comes at a higher risk.

But it's worth pointing out that raising taxes and cutting spending are, in fact, the ways you reform Social Security. Toomey's statement is a bit like saying: Besides raising taxes and cutting spending, my opponent has no plans to close the deficit. It's true that there are some out-of-the-box ways we could make money for the federal government, like selling Alaska to the Russians. But ruling out such a sale doesn't exactly make you an uncreative problem solver.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Business

Just In