I Am Hearing It Was a Huge Mistake to Invite Mike Allen to the Meeting...
links for 2010-08-19

Why Friends Don't Let Friends Read the Politico

Tim Fernholz on Mike Allen:

TAPPED Archive | The American Prospect: I was at the same deep-background briefing where Allen had his "mindmeld"... I don't think he's got it right.... Allen references a part of the conversation that concerned the Deficit Commission.... The official believed that the largest consensus was forming around an undefined plan to support the long-term solvency of Social Security and was discussing why that hypothetical plan might help bolster political will for other deficit-reduction ideas. The official would note that Social Security is already solvent for decades.

The most important omission from Allen's item is that the official concluded the conversation by noting that Social Security is not a generous benefit compared to other public pensions around the world and that cutting benefits, even years in advance, would be difficult to justify.... Allen doesn't mention that the official cited Paul Krugman when talking about Social Security's contributions to the deficit. Finally, the reason the administration official was interested in credibility before the markets is so the government could borrow more money for temporary fiscal stimulus.... It's hard to dispute Allen's interpretation without being able to post direct quotes, but hopefully this adds some much-needed context. At least, let it be a lesson to take these unsourced items with a shakerful of salt.

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