Who Likes Phase-Out? Not the Affluent…

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Wow, a new poll reveals that 48 percent of all “business owners” and 49 percent of all “affluent consumers” don’t think Social Security phase-out is a good idea. Maybe they realize that financial collapse because of trillions of dollars of new debt really isn’t such a good thing after all.

Speaking of which, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a new analysis of the radical Sununu-Ryan plan for privatization, now being touted by House conservatives who have given up any pretense that “reforming” Social Security is all about fiscal sanity and averting future actuarial imbalances.

The thing to see here is that the Sununu-Ryan plan would require transfers from the general budget of $79 trillion over the next 75 years. In other words, all you need to do is wave a magic wand and pour in trillions of dollars, and you can create a really cool social program! Well, no kidding. Look, if you think Social Security is currently on an “unsustainable course” all because we may need to raise either income or payroll taxes slightly over the next 75 years to continue paying out the full benefits promised by the program, that’s one thing. But please note, if the ground rules dictate that we’re allowed to transfer $79 trillion over the next 75 years from the general budget to Social Security, then we can pretty much solve any of our current problems three times over. How long before the press realizes that all this carping about “insolvency” by Republicans is really just a red herring?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest