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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Perspective on McCain and Social Security

A couple days back, John McCain said something about social security that was politically tone deaf. Here is the statement.

Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed.

McCain would be better off attacking Santa Clause than Social Security. President Bush found out just how tricky it is back in 2005. Nothing has been lionized and turned into a third rail more than Social Security. That is a shame because it limits good honest debate on a program that I have compared to a Ponzi Scheme.

Because the left has turned Social Security into something equivalent of a saint, it has limited much needed debate. I am actually shocked that McCain hasn't been hit harder for his comments.

For McCain's part, he doesn't seem to grasp that Social Security has always worked so that current workers pay for current retirees. Of course, that is exactly how a Ponzi Scheme works. Find suckers to invest with promises of future returns, and then that money is used to pay for suckers who's returns are due. The only difference is that this one is mandated by the government.

Can you imagine a politician using the provocative language I am using in describing Social Security? Bush got hammered for even suggesting there was a problem at all. Nearly every single solution is demonized. If anyone dares to raise the income limit, the age limit, or limits the benefits they are immediately demonized. The only safe fix to social security is equivalent to what Obama has suggested which merely forces the very rich to pay even more.

As such, we are headed for a disaster and most every politician tip toes around the problem and offers half hearted solutions. Privatizing, the only legitimate solution, has been so demonized that any and all mention of it is met with immediate attacks. The Social Security debate, much like everything in D.C., has turned into nothing more than finger pointing and attacks and in the meantime a terribly flawed program continues to drift towards insolvency with no legitimate solution in sight.

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