Captain Mainline

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Privatization Lockbox?

In the presidential campaign for 2000 Al Gore talked about creating a virtual lockbox to protect social security revenues from being raided by congress to augment the general fund. Never mind the fact one congress cannot prevent a future congress from undoing such a lockbox, as Gore counted on the MSM to adding this to their big book of ignored problems with the proposals of democratic candidates.

When Bush talked about his plan to privatize part of those very revenues, I wondered then and now why he does not adopt the "lockbox" term. The funds sequestered from the current mechanisms would indeed be protected from the congressional raiders. It is worth noting that even future congresses would have a tough time breaking this lock.

Given the scope of the raiding, social security is a regressive tax that adversely affects the poor in comparison to others. The Democrats ignore this violation of what we presume to be one of their core values perhaps because they do not want anything to distract from their self-proclaimed role as champions of social security.

In terms of the privatization debate, I see low hanging fruit of curbing a regressive tax and protecting social security from congressional raiders by realizing Al Gore was right on one aspect of social security: we need a privatization lockbox.


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