Friday, April 8, 2005

Congress may be backing off on privatizing social security

GW Bush has been proposing a partial privatization of social security, under the fiction that such a move will save the program. Setting up private accounts will do nothing to save social security, especially as it would take money out of the system. All it would do is give a huge handout to Wall Street (in the form of increased transactions, hence transaction fees) and as I've pointed out before, the Bush family has been beholden for years to Wall Street moguls.

There's a curious article on CNN.COM that sounds like the Senate Republicans may be backing off from the privatization in order to find a way to a bipartisan bill that will save social security.

Private accounts might be put on hold (Friday, April 8, 2005 Posted: 9:38 AM EDT (1338 GMT) CNN.COM)

The phrase "private accounts" is Washington-speak for the privatization proposal.

Here's the key:

Several GOP officials said Thursday that Republican leaders discussed the possibility privately this week, recognizing that unified Democratic opposition to the accounts has so far stalled efforts to advance the president's top domestic priority.

At the same time, these officials said GOP leaders were wary of leaving the impression they intend to abandon the president's proposal to allow younger workers to invest a portion of their payroll taxes independently.

In the end, leaders remain determined to deliver what Bush wants, they added.

"The attempt ... has always been to find Democrats to come on board with a bipartisan plan, and what has been stopping this is the issue of personal accounts," said one official familiar with the deliberations.

This set of conditions seems self-contradictory. GW has said repeatedly he wants the private accounts (to privatize the system). So if the Republican Senate leaders are planning to shelve the private accounts idea, then how do they intend to deliver what Bush wants?

To support their call for an overhaul of the program, they cite forecasts that without action, the Social Security trust funds will be depleted in 2041 and all benefits will be reduced.

This is one of the problems with the proposal. To make a prediction that far out into the future is sheer guesswork. How can they, with a straight face, make such a prediction?

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