To: Tom Hamburger
From: Brad DeLong
About: Your Needed Change of Career...
On June 11, 2008, you wrote:
Obama's selection of Jason Furman as economic advisor is criticized: [Jason Furman] was also quoted in a transcript from a CNBC interview in 2006 as suggesting openness to changes in Social Security that might include private accounts and benefit cuts. The approach he described sounded similar in some ways to that proposed at the time by President Bush. The Bush private accounts idea was anathema to labor activists, who successfully challenged the president's initiative.
Back on April 29, 2005, apropos of Bush's Social Security reform, Jason Furman wrote:
HOW WOULD THE PRESIDENT’S NEW SOCIAL SECURITY PROPOSALS AFFECT MIDDLE-CLASS WORKERS AND SOCIAL SECURITY SOLVENCY?: In last night’s press conference, President Bush endorsed a proposal... described as reducing benefits for the most affluent Americans, it would result in large benefit reductions for middle-class workers, as well. All workers with incomes above $20,000 today would be subject to benefit reductions, and the benefit cuts would escalate sharply in size as income climbed above $20,000. A worker making $35,000 today would be subject to benefit reductions more than half as large as the benefit cuts imposed on people at the highest income levels. A worker making $60,000 today would be subject to benefit reductions more than 85 percent as large as someone making several million dollars a year....
How disability benefits would be affected is unclear, although the President implied they would not be reduced. The President’s proposed change in the Social Security benefit structure is essentially a plan known as “progressive price indexing” that has been designed by investment executive Robert Pozen... [that] would reduce benefits for average earners retiring in 2075 by 28 percent, relative to the current benefit structure, and that this reduction would apply equally to retirees, survivors, and people with disabilities.... The White House last night issued a fact sheet stating that its proposals... would close 70 percent of Social Security’s financing problems. To do that, the President’s plan either must cut disability and survivor benefits substantially — after all, one-sixth of the savings in the Pozen plan come just from reductions in disability benefits — or cut retirement benefits for middle-class workers even more deeply than the figures cited above...
Jason Furman was not a friend, advocate, or supporter of President Bush's Social Security privatization plan back in 2005, but instead one of its most strident and effective opponents--as you would have found almost immediately had you typed "jason furman social security" into your web browser's google box, and followed the first substantive link to http://www.cbpp.org/5-10-05socsec.htm, which gives Jason Furman's full view of the Bush Privatization plan.
Why didn't you google "Jason Furman social security" before your wrote?
And when and how are you going to retract large portions of your article?