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Face It: Ace is Gone (WuzzaDem AND The Unpopulist) | Main | Democrats To Vote Rice In Despite "Reservations" [Say Anything]
January 26, 2005

What Bush Means By "Ownership" [Say Anything]

This editorial masquerading as an "article" from USA Today is interesting. Here's the first paragraph:

President Bush is selling his idea to transform Social Security with private investment accounts as part of a new "ownership society" for Americans. The accounts, Vice President Cheney says, would be "a retirement fund they control themselves and can call their own."

Here's the second paragraph, which I like to call the "But..." paragraph. Its the point at which the reporter feels his obligation to reporting "the other side of the issue" is complete and moves on to pile up the criticism.

But the reality would produce a lot less individual control than Bush and Cheney suggest.

Major proposals, including those from the president's own commission,to revamp Social Security with private investment accounts include provisions that place big limits on how much money individuals can invest, where it can be invested, what they can do with it when they retire and how much they can pass on to heirs.

Bush has not offered a specific plan to reshape Social Security, his top domestic priority, but he has said workers should be able to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into investment accounts. "By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear and make our society more prosperous and just and equal," he said in his second inaugural address last week.

The reporter is missing the point here in regard to "ownership." When the President talks about citizens "owning" their Social Security funds what he means is that the funds will no longer be available to greedy politicians looking to raid Social Security to fund other programs and legislation. The government won't have access to your private Social Security account any more then they'd have access to your savings account in the bank.

Granted there will be limits as how much you can pay in or invest but at least you'll know it will be there when you retire. Right now we have no such guarantee. And lets be honest, if Social Security is the sum total of your retirement plans you're a damn fool. In fact, unless Social Security is fixed now I'm not planning on seeing a dime when I retire.

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]


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posted by Ace at 09:23 AM

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