The Case For Means Testing, In Graph Form

Catherine Rampell studies a new report on how much seniors rely on social security:

As you can seen, elderly Americans in the bottom income quintile receive 88.4 percent of their income from Social Security. Members of the highest income quintile receives less than a quarter of their income from this source.

I reiterate my longstanding position: social security should be seen as insurance, not investment. You pay in to ensure that you do not retire or die in penury. But if you have managed to find a way to live well without that security, you don't get your premiums back. I know this is not how it was sold in the first place; I know this violates core liberal principles about social welfare (but screw you, I'm not a liberal); but in a fiscal crisis where every dollar counts, means-testing the wealthy elderly seems to me an easy call.