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President Obama: Social Security Is Healthy -- There's No Need to "Save" It

Here's a cheap and effective form of economic stimulus -- tell America's baby boomers that their welfare benefits are safe.

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In fact, he should assure the baby boom cohorts that their social security benefits are safer than having money in the banks (even the government insured ones) and that they can plan accordingly. This may not lead to a huge burst of new spending, but baby boomers will spend more confidently through time knowing that they can count on getting the benefits they have earned.

President Obama will clearly have to take other steps to get the economy fully back on its feet, but a simple speech assuring baby boomers that social security is safe will be an important step in the right direction. This speech also has the additional advantage that, unlike other forms of stimulus, it doesn't cost anything. As we all know, talk is cheap.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

 
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