Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Privatizing Social Security

Bush is pushing his plan to privatize Social Security again. He wants us all to have personal accounts that we can manage ourselves to plan for retirement. Yay! Because people always do the right things to plan for the future, so this will work out fine.

Oh, that's right, if people were better at planning for the future we wouldn't need Social Security in the first place! This is just another example of conservative fantasy. But you'd think Bush, who has screwed up every business he's been involved in (including the business of government) would understand that people don't always make wise decisions.

What is the government going to do when the first wave of people who had these accounts come to retirement age and some of them badly managed their accounts and basically have nothing in them? Are we going to turn these seniors out on the street? Because that's the only way the Bush plan makes sense fiscally. If we suck it up and foot the bill for the people who did poorly in the markets with their accounts, which we will, then we're going to end up basically paying for Social Security the way we do now anyway for a good portion of seniors. And, of course, seniors who managed their accounts well are going to bitch to the AARP about how they're being punished for doing well, since their neighbors botched it and now are getting money from the government anyway.

What a really, really bad idea this is. It doesn't take much to realize it, either: Just look at the name of the damned program! It's called Social Security, damn it! Does Bush know what "security" means? Or is he like the commander in Fallujah who said after the troops had taken the city, "The city is secure. But that doesn't mean it's safe everywhere."

Yeah, actually, it does. Unless conservatives are using some special "conservative fantasy dictionary" I don't know about. You know, the one in which "slog" means "traipsing along through the daisies."


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