Letter to the Editor ¦ June 22, 2002
Social Security Tricks

By David Langer

To the Editor:
Paul Krugman (column, June 21) aptly zeroes in on the gaping holes in the arithmetic logic of the privatization plans laid out by the Bush Commission to Strengthen Social Security. But these proposed edifices are also inted to be built on the foundation established by social Security's trustees and acuaries: that there is a financial deficit when projecting over 75 years so perilous that it needs prompt fixing.

Such defcit is in fact nonexistent; it was arrived at by violating professional actuarial practice standards resulting from the politicized trustees having final say over projection assumptions of the actuaries, much as Enron prevailed on its accountants to ignore accounting standards.

The public thus needs to consider the ramifications of a fault-ridden privatization plan sitting atop a nonexistent foundation.

David Langer
New York, June 21, 2002
The writer is chairman, Employee Benefits Committee,
Actuarial Society of Greater New York.