Ho-hum. Another day, another set of Peterson patsies explaining yet again why Grandma must starve so that their billionaire bosses and their buddies can keep their twenty-odd homes in the Hamptons and Hobe Sound:

Writing today on the op-ed page of The Washington Post, Robert Pozen makes the casethat liberals should support changes to Social Security. Mr. Pozen is a Democrat , though not necessarily a liberal one; he is a financial executive who served on President George W. Bush’s Social Security commission and in Mitt Romney’s administration in Massachusetts. But his argument is worth considering, whether you’re liberal or conservative.

So what’s the argument that the Pozen part of the Leonhardt-Pozen Legion of Doom tag team’s presenting? It’s their old favorite, the “Social Security is less progressive than it seems” bit of twaddle. How old is it? Why, it even comes pre-debunked, that’s how old it is.

Lookiee here at what I found from last December — a CEPR piece by Dean Baker that just shreds Pozen’s mythmaking (specifically, the iteration thereof that made it into the Boston Globe) into little tiny bits of bullshit confetti:

Pozen first told readers that Social Security is not progressive even though its payback structure is highly progressive. (A low-wage earner will get a payment equal to about 90 percent of their average wage income, while a maximum wage earner [$106,800 in 2010], will get a benefit equal to less than 30 percent of their taxable wage.) He argued that the differences in life expectancy (wealthy people live longer), offset the progressivity of the payback structure.

While this is partially true, the differences in life expectancy do not fully offset the progressivity of the payback structure. Also, Social Security includes survivor and disability benefits that disproportionately benefit low and moderate-income earners.

(more over the jump!)

Baker then goes on to destroy the Pozen puffery on raising the retirement age, whether or not the Social Security Trustees plan for longer life expectancies (yes they do, contrary to Pozen-Peterson-propagated myth), and a whole bunch of other hooey that Pozen keeps regurgitating every so often in the nation’s newspapers.

Now, Leonhardt handles Social Security issues at the New York Times. It’s his job to follow this stuff. He should already know the CEPR arguments backwards and forwards by now. But does he ever dare meet Dean Baker head-on? Nope, he, like his tag-team partner Pozen, just rolls along his merry way as if Baker’s debunking never happened.

Arrrrgh. Or rather, meow and hiss.

As Media Matters’ Jamison Foser says about Robert Pozen and the very same opinion piece over which Leonhardt wets himself in public this week:

That’s what passes as a “left-leaning” viewpoint in the Washington Post‘s opinion section: A column calling for a reduction in Social Security benefits written by a former Romney administration official whose previous Social Security proposals have been embraced by George W. Bush, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute and derided as “Bush lite” by liberal
economists.

Golly gee, any more “left-leaning” and the guy’d be on FOX. Hiss.