Monday, January 10, 2005

Is Social Security OK? Dems didn't think so in 1999, but do now!

In 1999, Bill Clinton wanted to use the phony budget "surplus" to "shore up Social Security" (a pet phrase used by Democrats in their talking points to the media). Clinton, like other Democrats, fought tax cuts tooth and nail...the thought that we idiots might get to keep more of our own money instead of trusting the liberal elites in DC to buy more $1000 hammers was offensive!

Anyway, we were told when Clinton was president that Social Security needed to be salvaged and preserved, and that if we did nothing to "shore it up", it would go belly-up in two to three decades before 2050. He needed to sell this idea to the American people so when he would be portrayed as a tax-and-spend liberal, he could say that he supported tax cuts only after Social Security had been fixed. According to a 1999 article by the liberal New York Times:

Under his new plan, Clinton will say that Social Security can be put on sound footing until 2053, nearly two decades beyond the point it will run into trouble if nothing is done. And he will call for Medicare to get enough new financing to keep it solvent until 2027, an improvement of about a dozen years beyond current predictions.

Emphasis is mine. In short, with surpluses as far as the eye could see in 1999, the government needed our tax money and couldn't "afford" to give us our money back because we needed it to fix Social Security.

And today?

Why, nothing is wrong with Social Security! According to Charlie Rangel, Democrat from Harlem, in this article:

There is no looming crisis in Social Security, and Congress should not rush to create private accounts, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. said Saturday.

"The facts prove that there is no imminent crisis with Social Security. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says Social Security can pay full benefits for nearly 50 years," Rangel said in the Democratic weekly radio address.

Leave it alone! It will be fine for the next 50 years, i.e. around 2055, if we do nothing to "shore it up" today.

These same "facts" that show that Social Security will be fine...were they the same ones that Rangel, Clinton, and their ilk were using back in 1999 to show that it would go belly-up between 2020 - 2030?

In short, with deficits as far as the eye could see in 2005, the government doesn't need private, semi-private, or any other kinds of savings accounts in order to fix Social Security, because Social Security isn't even broken. tax cuts in 1999 (Democrat president), because we need to "fix" Social Security by 2020 or so. No private accounts in 2005 (Republican president), because we don't need to fix what won't be broken until 2050. Since when do defecits extend the life of Social Security?

Liberals simply cannot stomach the idea that tax cuts and private accounts put money (and yes, responsibility) into your hands. More specifically, the more power you have over your own life and finances, the less power the government has...and thus, the less we need elected (and appointed) government officials to "take care" of us.