Saturday, May 07, 2005

What is Social Security solvency?

And why is Bush trying to do Social Engineering?

Josh Marshall, on his honeymoon, sneaks away from his bride long enough to post this really illuminating question:

"In the context of Social Security, what exactly is ‘solvency’? And just what are we looking for when we say we want to find it? I pose these questions because the president's new ‘plan' has placed them in a much higher relief for the following reason. According the Social Security Trustees' rather pessimistic estimates, in 2041 or 2042, the Trust Fund will run out and benefits will have to be cut by just over 25%. President Bush calls that ‘bankruptcy’. On the other hand, President Bush's 'plan' cuts benefits by about the same amount. And he calls that ‘solvency’.

"Same cuts: one is a looming disaster, the other is an act of statesmanship. Go figure."

Marshall goes on to point out "If the issue is simply making sure that benefits remain equal to payroll tax revenues, that's easy. Indeed, we've already got that since the way the Social Security system is set up, benefits are automatically cut to the level of revenue coming into Social Security from payroll taxes and the Trust Fund. Just leave the damn thing on auto-pilot and it will remain 'solvent', automatically, from now until the end of time."

That eliminates all of Bush's arguments for changing Social Security! Nothing remains of Bush's arguments on the problem with Social Security. What remains is Bush's proposals to change America from something close to financial equality in which people are rewarded for the work they do to an America in which there are a few financial winners and a lot of financial losers, and most financial rewards will be based on inheritance rather than on contributions to society.

I recall Conservatives like Goldwater and Bill Buckley complaining about liberals who were attempting "Social Engineering." What was the "crime" they were accusing Liberals of?

The Liberals were trying to eliminate centuries of legal barriers designed to prevent non-white people from achieving honest financial rewards for the work they did, and which prevented non-whites from associating with the white races on a basis of equality. The liberals mostly won, and America is much better for their win.

Now we get a President who is attempting his own warped version of "Social Engineering" to create a two-tier society, one wealthy based largely on inheritance and exemption from most taxes, and another lower tier consisting of most of us who do the real work and pay the taxes to keep society working.

In Bush's newly engineered society the financial rewards will go mostly to wealth, not to work. That is what his "Social Security" campaign is all about. As shown above, his efforts have nothing at all to do with "Saving" Social Security.


Post a Comment

<< Home