Sunday, October 28, 2007

Krugman vs Obama

On TV this morning, I heard this exchange:

George Stephanopoulos: Let's bring up the point on social security. Barack Obama, taking advice from pundits and advisers to be tougher on Senator Clinton. Yesterday, he said she wasn't truthful on a number of issues. Social security was his number one issue. He said that senator Clinton has made a mistake to hedge and not say what she would do on social security.

Clip of Barack Obama: Conventional thinking in Washington says that social security is the third rail of American politics. It says you should hedge and dodge and spin -- but at all costs, don't answer. I reject that notion.

George Stephanopoulos: Paul, he rejects it and says he would lift the payroll tax on all income. You shake your head. Does that mean you think he's making a mistake?

Paul Krugman: Social Security, if you go through the federal government, piece-by-piece, and see which programs are seriously underfunded and which are close to being completely funded, social security is one of the best. It's not for certain that social security has a problem. And it's something that the right has always wanted to kill, not because it doesn't work but because it does. And Obama to go after this program, at this time, you have to wonder. All of my progressive friends are saying what on earth is going through his mind to raise this issue.
Maybe Senator Obama was persuaded by this point of view on the topic.