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Home » I Knew Robin Hood. Robin Hood Was A Friend of Mine. And You, Mr. Bush, Are No Robin Hood.

I Knew Robin Hood. Robin Hood Was A Friend of Mine. And You, Mr. Bush, Are No Robin Hood.

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Paul Krugman blows the whistle on the claim that the new-model Bush Social Insecurity plan is redistributive toward the poor.

In fact, Social Insecurity version 2.0, as announced by the President at his press conference, would reduce retirement incomes much more for the middle class than for the rich, simply because the rich don’t rely much on Social Security in the first place. Middle-class retirees in 2075 (people earning the equivalent of $35,000-$100,000) would have their retirement income cut by 10-13%. For the people who got the most out of the tax cuts which blew the Social Security surplus, the hit would be much smaller, down to 1% at the million-dollar-a-year level.

Yes, it’s true that the bottom of the income distribution (among those with enough time in the labor force to qualify for Social Security) would fare better than the middle class. But since when is hammering the middle class while doing nothing for the poor in order to pay for tax cuts for the rich “Robin Hood” behavior?

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About Mark Kleiman

  • Wampy

    The Australian version of Bush is ‘Little John’ Howard. For the last 10 years there has been a blatant redistribution of wealth from low income earners to the already well off.
    ‘Little John’ is definitely no Robin Hood.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, someone who hasn’t realized that Paul Krugman is an idiot yet. I guess it takes a while for what a sham Krugman is to sink in to those who are ideologically sympathetic to him.

    What you miss in your 30 second pseudo-analysis of this topic is that right now the system is even more unbalanced towards the rich, and the fact that it’s not some sort of zero-sum system. Cutting returns for one class of people does not automatically create more money for others. There’s not some weird equilibrium in the system.

    Plus, the only reason why Krugman can argue that this doesn’t cut benefits for the rich more than any other group is that social security is basically meaningless to the rich because they have so much income from other sources. Trying to factor that in totally distorts the nature of the actual cuts.

    Dave