Saturday, January 15, 2005

Climb on that Halleluiah Bandwagon

Josh Marshall and Kevin Drum are gearing up to fight Bush’s big Social Security revival. This is the wrong approach to be taken, the wrong strategy, and the same old Democratic Party response to the Republican initiative. Take a play leaf out of the Clinton book on political maneuvering.

Embrace the move to revamp Social Security. Democrats would not be sailing under false colors; surely Social Security could use some tweaking. The Bush initiative is a great idea. Go the extra mile with the faith-based administration. Let's us climb on that halleluiah bandwagon. The Democrats are happy to see the Republicans finally acknowledging a grand old plank in the Democratic Parties platform: government’s responsibility to care for our senior citizens.

However, as anyone who works up high will tell you, when hanging that new device, don’t sacrifice rope from your safety net. Private management of retirement accounts may be a great idea. Private companies have been allowing this for years. The winning of the Cold War proved that free markets perform better than planned economies, so we should give any free market approach to Social Security some serious thought. But what happens if the person either willingly or at no fault of their own looses their retirement investment? Even in the private sector, if your personally invested retirement fails, there is always Social Security on which to fall back. It's the safety net, stupid.

I have a good retirement where I work, and I have thought Social Security would not be there for me for some time. One tweak to the system is to deny it to those who have an income of a certain amount through any other means. I've thought that would be one of the fixes to Social Security that was going to happen eventually. Whatever we decide to do, it is all part of the big fix when the Democrats embrace (steal, remember Clinton's playbook) the Republicans initiative and we all work together make a better retirement / safety net system.

By the way, Red Word / Blue Word has been updated.
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