Today's Note from a Madman
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
Social Security Privatization
by Robert Scardapane -
The prophets of doom are preaching the sermon of the imminent demise of social security. They tell us that the "baby boomers" are going to retire in droves thus collapsing the solvent social security trust fund. But, why should we believe these practitioners of psychological warfare? Consider their main source.
The right-wing think tank CATO Institute has been pushing social security privatization for 20 years. Financial institutions are one of it's largest contributors. Who would gain by social security privatization? Eureka, the very same institutions - seems somewhat corrupt.
Will the "baby boomers" really retire in large numbers over the next ten years? Don't count on it. Many people experienced the pain of their 401K retirement plan turning into a "201K" plan when they lost more than 50% in the stock market bust of 2000-2001. These folks will be working much longer than expected. Also, consider the grim reality that many people have lost their health care coverage - there is evidence that longevity actually decreased last year.
But, even with a burst of retirees over the next ten years coupled with increased longevity, the social security trust fund will be solvent to the year 2052 according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In short, there is no crisis! No doubt, tweaks will be needed but a radical overhaul is not indicated.
I think that Americans do take on too much debt and don't save enough. But, risking retirement money in the stock market is not the answer. Stock market investing is tricky and most people, experts included, have a hard time consistently making money. Consider that social security trust fund was created in response to the stock market crash of 1929. Investing this fund in the very system that motivated it's creation is simply contradictory.
Stupid Quotes of the Day
Stupid Quote #1:
"The president was monitoring the debate (House Intelligence Reform Bill) on C-SPAN in the conference room on Air Force One."
-White House spokesman Trent Duffy
C'Mon... The President? C-SPAN? Who tied him down?
Stupid Quote #2:
"Good intelligence is
useless without good homeland security."
-House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin
Huh? I thought good homeland security was useless without good intelligence. Double-Speak is alive and well in the land of cheese.
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