Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Republicans Continue to Break Ranks

The Republicans in Congress are beginning to break ranks with the President when it comes to privatizing social security. Now, the highest ranking Republican yet has spoken out against the Presidents proposal. Why? Well, because it really kind of sucks.

We can all agree that the system is in need of reform, but privatizing the program will not solve long term or short term financial shortfalls. Whether or not we privatize, we will be hit with the expense of the baby boomers retiring. Using their retirement expense as a reason to privatize the system is a moot point, so I really wish the President would stop making it. Once we get past the baby boomers, we hit more of an equilibrium, where the people entering the job market is no longer diminishing against the people retiring. Bush's plan does not compensate for the immediate short term deficit nor does it take into account long term reduction of retirees.

simpler and less risky options, like means testing and raising the retirement age can do so much more than privatizing the system.

New Doubts On Plan For Social Security (Link to Full Story)
House Republican Says Bush Plan Is Doomed, Seeks Review of System

By Mike Allen and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 19, 2005; Page A01

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) predicted yesterday that partisan warfare over Social Security will quickly render President Bush's plan "a dead horse" and called on Congress to undertake a broader review of the problems of an aging nation.

Thomas, one of Capitol Hill's most powerful figures on tax policy, is the highest-ranking House Republican official to cast doubt on the president's plan for creating individual investment accounts. He said that as an alternative, he will consider changes such as replacing the payroll tax as Social Security's financing mechanism and adding a savings plan for long-term or chronic care as "an augmentation to Social Security payments."

"What I'm trying to get people to do is get out of the narrow moving around of the pieces inside the Social Security box," Thomas said at a forum on Bush's second term sponsored by the National Journal. "If we miss this opportunity . . . I think we will have missed an opportunity that may not present itself for another 20 years."

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