Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I like the idea of having a private account for retirement 

I believe having a personal account through which I can invest in the stock market to save for retirement is a great idea. In fact, I like the idea so much that I'm already doing it and don't really need a law to force me to put in more. This doesn't mean I'm adverse to the idea of having control over a portion of what I pay into SS, but control is what I want - control over my retirement: The Social Security aspect of my plan is something to fall back on which I know will always be there..

In principle, a government administered investment fund is not a bad idea: if you make it easier for people to save their own money for retirement, more will. But the time to consider allowing individual control over a portion of SS payments would be when the system has an anticipated surplus - not an anticipated deficit.

Bush has a line that goes something like, "Don't believe any lies that you should worry if you're over fifty-five. Nothing is going to change for you." They don't have to worry - no changes for them, fine. But despite the fact I'm only 37, I've already been paying into the system for two decades. What does Bush want to change about it for me? I've been paying into the system for 20 years, and expect to receive all of what's been promised me in exchange. Or, if he's going to also promise no change in payments to me, he needs to show where my payments are going to come from if workers younger than me are putting my promised payments into their private accounts instead.

So this is exactly what Bush is saying to me, paraphrased: When you retire, there won't be enough money going into the system to make the payments promised you. So my solution is for workers younger than you to put in even less.

Josh Marshall is keeping track of Republicans against and Democrats for privatization - in the Senate, it's already reasonably close to 50/50 support/dissent even if you assume all the Republicans who will dare go against Uncle Bush's wishes have already dared to publicly state their opposition. And most of the Democrats who Marshall lists in the "fainthearted faction" seem more to be voicing support for the principle, not support for the proposal.

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