The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM
Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM
Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM
Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM
Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM
Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM
Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM
The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM
From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM
Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM
Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM
Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM
Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM
Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM
Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008
Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008
The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006
Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008
Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007
Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006
A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006
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Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Twenty-One.
Thursdays are good days for reform, because they fall between Wednesdays and Fridays.
That's why WILLisms.com offers a chart or graph, every Thursday, pertinent to Social Security reform. The graphics are mostly self-explanatory, but we include commentary on some of them where and when necessary.
This week's topic:
Growing Real Ownership For Workers (GROW) Accounts.
Patrick Chisholm, writing in The Christian Science Monitor last week, observed:
If one compares how Social Security is run to how most companies run their retirement plans, the reckless mismanagement of Social Security becomes obvious.
Indeed. Not only does the antiquated Pay-As-You-Go funding structure, imagined by Otto von Bismarck in the 19th century, resemble a Ponzi scheme, but the alleged trust fund only exists on paper, in a filing cabinet in West Virginia. Like the worst imaginable corporate malfeasance, the trust fund is raided-- and cleaned out-- regularly, to pay for the federal government's myriad other programs.
Beginning in 2017, the U.S. Treasury will not have the luxury of raiding the Social Security surplus to fund the burgeoning government leviathan. At that point, the Social Security system will begin paying out more than it takes in, draining the trust fund each year thereafter.
DeMint-Ryan would allow workers to create individual personal retirement accounts and place marketable government bonds worth their portion of the Social Security surplus into these accounts. Think of this as creating 140 million "lock box" accounts, one for every American worker. After three years, workers could trade these Treasury bonds and invest instead in higher-return mutual funds containing a combination of corporate stocks and bonds.
Whether or not this "lockbox" legislation is everything reformers want and more is certainly obvious. It's not.
But it does energize the reform process, injecting new life, politically, into a process that, because it is unfolding in Washington, has appeared bogged down for some time now.
First, and perhaps foremost, you have members of Congress, such as Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin:
While this proposal in and of itself would not completely fix Social Security's solvency problem, it is a clear step in the right direction. And it sends a message to the American people that Congress is getting serious about saving the Social Security surplus for their Social Security retirement benefits.
"Too much of this debate has focused on tax increases and benefit cuts. This proposal puts the focus back where it belongs-personal accounts, savings, ownership, and passing along a nest egg to children and grandchildren.
The bill does not impose investment risk on workers and does not harm the Social Security Trust Funds. It does put us on the path to protecting the integrity of the Social Security program by ensuring that Social Security taxes are only used for Social Security.
The goal of reform is not to make the government’s books balance — it’s to create a better deal for the American worker, something the compromise approach would accomplish with minimal disruption in the financial markets while providing a down-payment on permanent solvency. This compromise plan may not get us all the way there, but it stops the bleeding and starts the healing.
Mr. DeMint is meeting the Democrats on their own terms. Like a good poker player, he is calling their bluff. If their stated objections are removed, what is it that they are opposed to? The very idea of people owning and controlling their own money?
...we welcome all proposals that will move this process forward, commend those who are offering alternatives, and encourage others to offer their solutions to this growing marketplace of ideas.
"They can twist themselves into any pretzel shape they want," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "As long as privatization is on the table, there will be no compromise on Social Security."
This is not a good-faith negotiation. The Democrats' true colors are shining through here.
1. It's hard to imagine these interim lockbox personal accounts not creating political inertia for a more serious round of reforms in coming years. Once people get a taste of ownership, they will demand more. Once people realize this is not some hair-brained risky scheme, they will demand more.
2. An optimal and permanent Social Security reform package that utilizes the free enterprise system to give younger workers a better return, without the requisite 60 votes in the Senate, simply will not pass a filibuster by Democrats. Not gonna happen. So this just makes the most of the political reality on the ground.
3. Republicans running for Senate in closely-divided states will have a winning issue in 2006. If and when Democrats knee-jerkedly obstruct on the issue of saving the Social Security surplus for Social Security, simply because it's a GOP idea, Republicans running in states and Congressional districts President Bush won in 2006 are going to have a great political weapon with which to clobber the "party of no."
And don't think President Bush won't take part in the bludgeoning. President Bush will go into those states and districts and take down several of those obstructing his agenda himself.
He's done it before, and he'll do it again.
Is the lockbox legislation part of the exit strategy on Social Security reform? Yeah, somewhat. It's certainly a way to save face and get something tangible accomplished, rather than committing political suicide by cutting benefits (the brussel sprouts) without the delayed gratification of personal accounts (the baking pie in the oven). But it's also a way to inject new life into the issue.
These latest developments do not mean the President has given up on the idea of a permanent solution for Social Security, complete with personal accounts for younger workers, nor should he give up on the idea. In fact, despite misleading headlines, this latest round of legislation DOES CREATE individual Social Security accounts that the federal government cannot take from you and divert toward paying for the bureaucracy.
Reforming one of the Left's favorite legacies of FDR, one of America's largest entitlement programs, was always going to be a painstaking and long-term process. Democrats believed, going into the debate, that they could obstruct their way back into control of Congress. They were wrong.
Now that "privatization" is clearly not included in the latest serious of Republican proposals, if Democrats still "just say no," they very well might be more dense, politically, than anyone ever even imagined.
Previous Reform Thursday graphics can be seen here:
-Week One (Costs Exceed Revenues).
Tune into WILLisms.com each Thursday for more important graphical data supporting Social Security reform. We'll address more myths in future installments.
Posted by Will Franklin · 23 June 2005 11:12 AM
The Democrats will most likely continue approaching the Social Security issue as they do everything! I am not a betting man. If I were, I would wager and say they are going to continue as they usually do. I will assume not much will be done.
Posted by: Jules at June 23, 2005 05:28 PM
I love how the Democrats are demanding that we take EVERYTHING "off the table" before they are willing to negotiate. If we do, what's left to negotiate?
Posted by: Mick Wright at June 23, 2005 07:50 PM
Typical... Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the do nothing Dems. continue business as uaual. . . They would be fired if they worked for a corp. or even a small business! If these Senators did't have such a nice retirement of their own they would see it as a more important matter!
Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 23, 2005 09:44 PM
IF!, Nancy Pelosi was employed by anyone and conducted herself this way? She would be FIRED! That is what Democrats should be considering for her in the future!
Posted by: josh W. at June 24, 2005 07:36 AM
Mick Wright is right!... Dems. are donkeys! What dim witts..." Dem. Witts " ...
Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 25, 2005 08:37 AM