SOCIAL SECURITY FOR DUMMIES….Robert Ball, the grand old man of Social Security, explains patiently to the Washington Post editorial board yet again that Social Security is (a) a rather modest program, (b) more necessary than ever in an era of shrinking private pensions, (c) shouldn’t be cut, (d) has only minor long-term financial problems, and (e) can be fixed with a small number of fairly trivial revenue changes a decade or two down the road.

I know, I know, it’s a boring subject. But the number of people who either don’t understand (or pretend not to understand) just how insignificant Social Security’s problems are and how easily they can be repaired is really staggering. A decade ago I used to be one of them, but all it took was a very modest amount of reading on the subject to convince me that I was off base. Considering how simple the math is, I really don’t understand why so many otherwise bright people continue to be fooled by all this.

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