Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No Crisis? Don't Tell Greenspan...

'Partisan hack' Alan Greenspan (note to Kossacks: you're all too young to remember this, judging by the maturity level of your posts, but Greenspan was a huge hero to the right AND left during the Clinton boom) says we've got a few years at most to do something about Social Security, or benefits will definitely have to be cut.

Timothy Fargus, who has a very nice looking blog with some really good content that I look forward to perusing at a more leisured pace soon, has been arguing in the comments that the 'strengthen and save' line is a bunch of hooey...and I don't pretend to know who's right. I suspect many on the left find something a little phoney about Republicans using the camouflage of boosting a program we really don't like that much to mask our ideological preference for private accounts. I'll admit it; there's quite a bit of truth to that...for me, and most of my commenters, it is about ideology.

I find it equally suspect, though, for Democrats to engage in their hyperbolic attacks on the Bush plan, and the more moderate recent Republican offers on the table, in the manner of Josh 'The Very Definition of a Partisan Hack' Marshall. From my side of the aisle, it looks like the age-old Democratic tactic of divide-and-conquer, special- interest-group politics that I hate so much.

My preference, since it's pretty clear the straight-up Bush plan is in deep trouble, is a compromise. Let's raise the payroll tax on the highest wage earners (loathsome as that is to me - and no, I'm not a 'higher wage earner') in exchange for, let's say, a 3% PSA provision. Looking beyond the politics, I really don't see how the system can absorb the baby boomers and increasing life expectancies...it just doesn't pass the smell test. To be continued, no doubt...

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