Thursday, January 06, 2005

Is Social Security A Crisis Or Not?

Do you Remember during the 2000 presidential election how a major issue was the Social Security crisis? The Gore campaign used to throw around numbers and years for when Social Security would dry up and not be able to pay out promised benefits. Al Gore wanted a "lock box" so that funds couldn't be borrowed from Social Security. The problem was that a "lock box" wasn't a solution, just a way to keep the inevitable from happening sooner than forecast.

Bush, on the other hand, had a real alternative to help Social Security in the long run. The people looked at the two plans and chose the latter.

One thing that was not debated was the fact that Social Security is, in fact, in jeopardy. Apparently that has changed. Now that President Bush is moving towards his plan of allowing a portion of payroll deductions to be used in a 401K style retirement as a Social Security alternative, some Democrats seem to think the crisis isn't so bad. (AP Story)

"We need to establish in the public mind a key fiscal fact: right now we are on an unsustainable course," Wehner's e-mail said. "That reality needs to be seared into the public consciousness; it is the precondition to authentic reform."

But Democrats say the White House is exaggerating the system's future financial picture to dismantle the New Deal program.

"This memo shows that some in the Bush administration will resort to the worst kind of scare tactics to undermine Social Security," Rangel said.

Referring to an e-mail that outlined a plan to promote the new Social Security plan, Democrats are claiming that the dangers of the Social Security program becoming insolvent are being exaggerated and a form of fear tactics. Apparently what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. Scaring seniors seems to be a Democrat hallmark during elections with no action thereafter.

The fact is, before any kind of reform of this magnitude, the public needs to be very clear as to the reasons for the reform along with the benefits of the reform over the previous way of doing things. No one debated the insolubility of Social Security until now. Calling out "Scare Tactic" is merely a smoke screen to divert the attention of the real issue, the solvency of Social Security.

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