Sloan: Why I can’t (and won’t) stop writing about Social Security

People used to call Social Security the “third rail” of politics — mess with it, you’ll get seriously shocked.

For me, Social Security has become the third rail of column-writing. Show people that the system is spending considerably more cash than it’s taking in, as I did last week, and you get zapped by readers, friends and sources.

So let me try to explain where I think Social Security’s problem comes from. Which I couldn’t do last week because unlike the people who post comments or send email, I am writing to a relatively small fixed space.

Despite what some readers seem to think, I wasn’t trying to run down Social Security or blame it — whatever “blame it” means in this context — for its current financial problems. All I wanted to do was to inject a dose of reality into the Social Security debate, which seems to revolve around the program’s trust fund rather than around the true state of the program’s finances.

Read more: Washington Post

Allan Sloan is a columnist for The Washington Post. He is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor. View Archive


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