Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Cunning Plan

Well, the Baldrick Republicans are back, as Max and Matt inform us. As I wrote before about these geniuses the plan is to:

1) divert substantial social security tax revenues into private accounts
2) guarantee that private account + guaranteed benefits = currently promised benefits (if your account tanks, they still pay you)
3) maintain solvency of trust fund until infinity and beyond!

These magicians plan to accomplish this amazing feat by simply mandating general fund transfers as necessary. In other words, simply assume away any problem.

Joking aside, this is rather worrisome. So far this administration has been quite successful at promising free pie and ponies to all. This would be the ultimate incarnation of that. And, Yglesisas asks:

The interesting question, at this point, is when the center-right "pain caucus" that dominates conventional wisdom inside the Beltway will wake up to what's going on here. This crowd has long supported privatization on ill-defined fiscal probity grounds. The drive is now being led by people who care nothing for such probity and will, in fact, make the budgetary situation far, far, far worse. Where's The Washington Post on this? Tim Russert?

Seriously. If a Democrat proposed making the program solvent until infinity simply by mandating general fund transfers as necessary Tim Russert would be very displeased indeed. I bet he'd even bring Big Russ out to express his disapproval. These guys are proposing to take a bunch of money out of the trust fund to fund private accounts requiring even greater general fund transfers. Something tells me Tim might just like this cunning plan.