Friday, February 4, 2005

Words of Wisdom on SSI

I know all I need to know about Bush's proposals to dismantle our social safety net and swindle folks out of their savings. In a nutshell, it's a pack of lies designed to enrich his Wall Street cronies in their retirement, and to Hell with American workers. More to the point, it's meant to impoverish the government so they won't be in any shape to help anyone other than the fat cats.

All the rest is commentary. Some of the best comes from Paul Krugman, economist and Professor of Economics at Princeton. He has been doing a series on Bush's Big Lie. He knows what he is talking about and doesn't pull his punches. In his Op-Ed in today's NYTimes:
A few weeks ago I tried to explain the logic of Bush-style Social Security privatization: it is, in effect, as if your financial adviser told you that you wouldn't have enough money when you retire - but you shouldn't save more. Instead, you should borrow a lot of money, buy stocks and hope for capital gains.

If you put part of your payroll taxes into a personal account, your future benefits will be reduced by an amount equivalent to the amount you would have had to repay if you had borrowed the money at a real interest rate of 3 percent.

Peter Orszag of the Brookings Institution got it exactly right: "It's not a nest egg. It's a loan."

Experts usually tell people to plan for their retirement by investing in a mix of stocks and bonds. They disapprove strongly of speculation on margin: borrowing to buy stocks. Yet Mr. Bush wants tens of millions of Americans to do exactly that.

Do you believe that we should replace America's most successful government program with a system in which workers engage in speculation that no financial adviser would recommend? Do you believe that we should do this even though it will do nothing to improve the program's finances? If so, George Bush has a deal for you.

Please go read him. Mr. Krugman is an expert on this shit.

You may read previous articles in his series for the NYTimes by going to their Op-Ed Archive, or read his other stuff at his Web Page.

In a comment elsewhere, Fixer brings up the point, and I concur, that all Bush's talk about Social Security may be just a smokescreen to focus attention away from other goals of his agenda.

No comments: