Friday, February 04, 2005

The Social Security question of the hour
Has Bush committed to defaulting on the Trust Fund? That's what Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall want someone (anyone!) to ask.

After all, as they both say, the only thing that is scheduled to happen 2018 (really 2020 now)on our current course is that we stop adding to the trust fund and start having to remove from it to meet current benefit levels. That surplus fund wouldn't actually run empty until 2052. Of course, there's not much actual money in there since Bush has raided it for the general fund, but the debt to the fund is still acknowledged, right? The bonds are still good? That's what they want to know. Me too.

If they're planning to act like that Fund never existed, then we really do have a problem in 2020. But it's not a Social Security problem, it's an out-of-control Republican budget problem. And since we'd have to borrow 2 trillion dollars to simply get the President's idea off the ground and allow present workers to fund their own private accounts, rather than funding current retirees (and the Trust Fund), that budget deficit problem, and all the economic nightmares that come with it, will only get worse. Way, way worse. That's not even counting the considerable administrative costs that are sure to accompany a big government behemoth like Bush is suggesting.

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