Democrats Vow to Oppose Any Social Security Privatization, No Matter How Minor
More details are coming out concerning the Social Security plan being released today by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill is significantly different from what the President has been proposing.
Instead, the measure showcases a promise, designed to reassure seniors, that Social Security surplus funds will be used only to create individual accounts that differ sharply from Bush's approach.
Despite the differences from Bush's proposals, Democrats quickly attacked the legislation, which is emerging in different forms in the House and Senate.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., called it "a smaller version of a bad idea. That bad idea is private accounts."
"They can twist themselves into any pretzel shape they want," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "As long as privatization is on the table, there will be no compromise on Social Security."
Whatever its prospects, officials said it was possible the leadership would embrace the measure in the House, elevating it in stature above other proposals.
Until the details of the plan are available to the general public, it’s difficult to critique the bill. Nevertheless, it seems that this is an extremely watered down plan that fails to create sustainable private accounts or address the issue of solvency.
It is also abundantly clear that the Democrats are going to blindly oppose any form of privatization, no matter how minor. Do they really believe that a program developed sixty years ago in a completely different economic and social environment needs no real reform? Is the current Social Security system to be regarded as some great, unalterable truth, perfect for all time?
The more I’ve thought and studied on this the more I’ve come to support strongly the idea of some form of privatization. While many details need to be hashed out, the concept is a solid one and much better geared for the modern economy than the system now in place. Unfortunately, the Democrats have declined to even consider it and have instead spent their energy marshalling a prideful resistance. Sometimes I wonder if the Democrats are more concerned with preserving a dying legacy than ensuring we focus on the needs of the future.
From all indications, the best we can hope for this year is some small and generally ineffective version of private accounts. If nothing else, perhaps this will get the ball rolling and make it easier for a future President and Congress to create a real solution.