Friday, February 4, 2005

Social Insecurity

Andrew Cassel of the Philadelphia Inquirer has deciphered the muck that is the Bush Social Insecurity plan and offers a good summary/commentary. Here's an excerpt:

There will be even more restrictions after you retire.

In contrast to all the rhetoric about owning "real wealth" that your kids can inherit, the plan
would convert those investment accounts into fixed, lifetime annuities. That means retirees in the future would receive their benefits in monthly installments, guaranteed to last as long as they live - and no longer.

Which is, of course, pretty much how Social Security works today.

At this juncture, you might be tempted to ask: So why all the hoo-hah?

If the government won't get out of the way; won't let you invest your retirement account as you choose; and won't even give you free access to it after you retire, what's the point?

Good question.

One thing we know is not the point: "saving" Social Security.

Even the Bush administration admits that personal accounts won't cure the retirement system's long-term funding shortfall. Although the President didn't mention this in his speech, an unnamed "White House official" acknowledged as much in a briefing for reporters.

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