Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Voodoo Economics and Social Security, Part 1

By popular demand, we are going back to look at the younger Bush's determination to divert Social Security taxes to private investment accounts. While you may have thought his plan was dead, Reuters reports that he hasn't given up:
President George W. Bush hopes to revive his plan to overhaul the U.S. Social Security retirement program if his Republican party keeps control of the Congress in the November midterm elections, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
But first, via TNR, we take a look back at his father's thoughts on the subject in 1987:
I think it's a nutty idea to fool around with the Social Security system and run the risk of [hurting] the people who've been saving all their lives.... It may be a new idea, but it's a dumb one.
This is the same George H. W. Bush who once referred to supply side theories as "voodoo economics." His comment on Social Security was prompted by a question from fellow presidential candidate and former Delaware governor Pete du Pont, who last year referred to Social Security as "Socialism's Last Redoubt."
Now, my loyal readers know better than to expect that their favorite policy wonk would rise to Pete's bait and leap to man the ramparts in a last ditch stand for socialism in America--at least not without doing his homework. No, my loyal readers expect a mind-numbing, multipart series that will overwhelm them with facts, figures and sheer tedium.
Before we get started, here's a provocative quote from the younger Mr. Bush:
"Personal accounts do not solve the issue," Bush said at a White House news conference.
Which raises the question of what Bush's personal accounts would accomplish. Stay tuned.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After age 65, we are all socialists.

2:56 AM, September 21, 2006  
Blogger jason said...

I know Dave Burris still has a great faith in Mr. Bush's ability to "overhaul" the U.S. Social Security retirement program.

When I hear Bush intends to overhaul anything - I picture the outcome to be a smoking bomb crater, and that outcome is under best case scenerio conditions.

8:50 AM, September 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush will "fix" Social Security like I "fixed" my cat.

9:06 AM, September 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear that hedge funds are in the posistion to take the profit margin down down down such that the normal investments are flat.

With this kind of special interest rip off, what will happen with accounts under the SS privitization plan?

Word also is that the hedgers (be a billionaire to play) are edging the market with insider trade information from the Bush administration.

There is no SEC oversight on hedge funds, NONE.

Just in from the national blogs is the warning that hedgers and Iran- Iraq and the price of oil are also now expected to reap big bennies for the well-connected.

James Baker is in Baghdad and I do not believe it is for an exit strategy.

6:19 PM, September 21, 2006  
Blogger Catbird said...

Well, quit stallin' and start wonkin', will ya?! Your public awaits. (Funny, but I always thought tedium was opaque.)

2:16 AM, September 22, 2006  

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