Social Security Political Economy
By Arnold Kling
Why might you think that the elderly deserve a greater share of resources in society? Here are some options…
2. The relevant political alternative is lower marginal tax rates for the well-to-do. Transfer resources to anyone but them, whenever you can…
I suspect that some version of #2 is what motivates most liberals.
I think that this is a basic reason why it is difficult to make the case against big government. The Left argues as if the marginal dollar into the Treasury always comes from Bill Gates. So, cutting Medicare would be viewed as regressive, even though in reality Medicare taxes are partly borne by low-paid workers, many of whom lack health insurance themselves.
For Discussion. If you believe that taxes on the rich are a good thing, and you believe that at the margin we can always raise taxes on the rich, then what is the implied cost of any government program?