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 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile his neighbor, the patriarch of a 70-acre family farm

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 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Business

Just In