ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Saving Soshsecurity

H/T BeldarBlog

VodkaPundit (a fellow Tigers fan, I'll presume?) has a great post regarding the cold hard truths about Social Security reform. As Beldar puts it, TANSTAAFL, or There ain't no such thing as a free lunch... (I've heard the same sentiment this way: TINSCTINFL, There Is No Santa Claus and There Is No Free Lunch (which I s'pose is more grammatically correct, lest the Libs think that "ain't no" means that there IS a free lunch (and that there IS a santa claus)).

Anyway, read the post and Vodka's criticism of the GOP's inability to assert their case and provide people with the facts. He even provides a response that he would've given if he had been in McConnell's shoes on Sunday's Meet the Left Press with former Cuomo aide journalist Tim Russert. I would've jumped out of my chair and cheered had I heard these words come from McConnell, or any GOPer frankly.

Here's Vodka's suggested response:

Look, Tim, Social Security is never going to be as good of a deal for today's young people as it was for their grandparents, or even their parents. With people living longer, and fewer younger people having been born to pay into the system, the demographics just won't allow it, and we're coming up fast on a time when there simply won't be enough money available to pay out like we've been paying out for the last several decades.

The time is going to come--and we can argue about when this will be, but it is going to happen one day--when we can't keep the old promises any more without either cutting benefits, or having a huge tax increase, or realistically, doing both. That's a pretty rotten thing to do to people who're paying money out of their paychecks every day to support the current system, and reasonably enough think they ought to get a decent return on their money.

What private accounts can do, but the pay-as-you-go system can't, is grow the pot of money available for people to retire on. The government can't grow money, all we can do is tax or borrow, but the market can. With a private account that'll grow for the next 35 years, a 30-year-old will have a cushion against the benefit cuts that will have to happen at some point in their lives--not tomorrow, not next year, but someday--to keep the government from going broke and their taxes from growing to Swedenesque levels.

We can't tax ourselves out of this problem. There aren't going to be enough people to tax. But we can use time and the market to give people a fair shake. We just have to start now, or the situation is only going to get worse.
The problem is that the GOP seems to still be arguing the Social Security issue in the framework established by the Dems.... not a good sign for a party in the majority, although the MSM certainly amplifies the Dem's frame of reference on almost every issue. As I've said previously, my 3 year old grasps the unsustainability of Social Security... At what point will the rest of the country catch up?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler