Obama also criticized McCain for being open to letting taxpayers invest part of their Social Security payments in private investment accounts.Of course, this statement is wholly without merit and furthermore, it totally disregards the principle upon which private social security accounts would work, long term investing. First, private social security accounts wouldn't necessarily have to be put into a vehicle that is tied to the Dow Jones specifically, but whatever they were put into, they would be there for the long term, up to 40 years.
"Imagine if your security now was tied up with the Dow Jones," he said, alluding to the recent slide in stock prices. "You wouldn't feel very confident about the security of your nest egg."
Let's put Obama's statement to the test. Let's take a look at what an investment tied to the Dow Jones would have done over the last thirty years.
That is a graph of the Dow Jones since 1900. About thirty years ago the Dow Jones was about 1000. It is now about 13000. . That means a $1000 dollar investment would now be worth $13,000. This is the sort of investment return that Barack Obama wants to make sure current young workers don't have access to in their Social Security accounts.
Keep in mind that Social Security returns about 2% yearly on its investment. That means over the same time frame, the current social security account would turn a $1000 investment into just less than $2000 over the same time period. Again, Barack Obama wants workers to be able to see this return over the one they would find in the Dow Jones.
I recently a piece in which I defended the concept of private social security accounts. It is amazing that such a concept could so easily be demonized even though it makes perfect sense. Private social security accounts are in no substantive way different from a 401k or an IRA, and yet the same politicians that demonize them so absolutely nothing about those two vehicles.
The stunning lack of understanding by Barack Obama about simple investment principles is only matched by those in the media that leave it unchallenged and the sheep that follow him even though his ideas run counter to basic logic.