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.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

A global look at the hardest and best job ever

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

More in Business

Just In