Thursday, November 04, 2004

Social Security "Reform"

Reuters reports that
President Bush [plans] to start work immediately on reforming America's ailing Social Security retirement system and [predicts] a long slog ahead.
Optimism quickly departs when one realizes that his stated plan consists not of new ways to finance the current institutionalized (and thus important to those who have already made decisions) Social Security system, but to "[set] aside a portion of Social Security taxes to create individual accounts that workers could invest in stocks and bonds."

And Reuters gives short shrift to the opposition:

Opponents to private accounts say the move will increase the financial strains on Social Security and argue that recent stock market scandals underscore the need to protect the basic benefit of Social Security.
The main point here, that privatized accounts take away from the government's ability to make good on its previous obligations to current Social Security recipients, is obscured by the secondary (and much less significant) argument about "stock market scandals." The problem is not that people won't be able to handle their own money, but that there won't be money for those who are already dependent on the system.

Not only that, but the Republicans have successfully co-opted the language of reform, marginalizing *true* reform to the gutter of "doing nothing."

Via Joshua Micah Marshall.


Blogger Carbunkle said...

Interesting comment that giving people an individualized account for their own Social Security funds is construed as "doing nothing".

Frankly - the Democrats platform looked more like I'd be "getting nothing" by the time I was 65!

5:31 PM  

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