Rand Paul Introduces Non-Privatization Social Security Reform

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 13 2011 12:02 PM

Rand Paul Introduces Non-Privatization Social Security Reform

Two members of the Senate's Tea Party caucus joined up with Sen. Lindsey Graham today to introduce the Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act of 2011. Graham showed reporters a vintage 2005 copy of Congressional Quarterly, from the Bush era Social Security fight, reminding us that he'd tried to broker a compromise back then.

"It says, 'maverick,'" he pointed out.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Advertisement

The new plan, which has been scored by the Social Security administration, does not do much of what Republicans wanted in 2005. There are no private accounts. There are only cuts. It features a gradual increase in the retirement age, which goes to 70 by 2032, with an increase in the early retirement age to 64. The full retirement age is fungible -- it will be "indexed to increases or decreases in life expectancy." The big cost-saver, though, is the change to benefits that starts in 2018. After that point, benefits for people who make more than $43,000 "will be calculated at a lower rate as earnings rise."

Why no personal accounts? Paul, after all, had always been for personal accounts.

"As you've learned," he said, "I'm a moderate."

Graham explained that it was a matter of vote counts. "I can tell you things that won’t be on the table," he said, "personal accounts and raising taxes." And this sounded like a bit of pre-gaming for the only Social Security reforms we're hearing about before the president's setpiece speech.

Because a number of Republicans have said they could vote to raise the debt limit if and only if entitlement reform was part of the deal, I asked the senators if a vote on this proposal would do the trick. Graham: Yes. Lee: No. Paul: The question is irrelevant.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.