Advancing a Free Society

Ed Morrissey Interview

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yesterday I was interviewed by Ed Morrissey of about Social Security:The Unfinished Work.  You can find the interview at the videolink attached (my portion begins at about the one hour mark, and covers the last 30 minutes).

It was a real pleasure to do this interview.  Ed's audience includes exactly the sort of people I was hoping to reach with this book -- the smart layperson hungry for more detailed information about public policy issues.  Ed is one of the best interviewers I've had the pleasure to work with; not only had he started to read the book and was thus ready with detailed, pertinent questions, but he had clearly done a fair amount of supplementary research about factors ranging from annual Social Security outlays to the program's Trust Fund balance. 

This level of detail isn't always possible in an interview situation; in DC, for example, the crush of competing stories and events doesn't always allow room for it.  I wrote the book instead for the person who had both the time and inclination to step back a bit and to understand these issues more deeply and in their full context.  This interview reminded me that the audience for this is indeed out there.

My favorite part of the interview was when he challenged me to describe some of the "blind spots" on the right with respect to Social Security.  Ed's audience is a conservative one, and I was pleased that he wanted both to challenge me and to challenge his audience (my answer, by the way, is that the conservative side tends to underrate the costs of delay and to overstate the good that personal accounts can do).