Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Private Accounts Dead Over World-Herald's Dead Body

by Kyle Michaelis
On the same day the Lincoln Journal-Star quoted Congressman Lee Terry saying "I don't see the votes there" for Social Security privatization and that there's much more likely to be "a little tweaking of Social Security to extend its life another 10 or 15 years," the Omaha World-Herald made yet another attempt to sell private accounts, this time blaming its critics for the plan's failure:
Critics, with deception and repetition, persuaded a good many people that Bush's real motive was to destroy the Democrats' most successful legislative accomplishment.

They painted a picture of naive citizens, lost in the wilds of the securities markets without the knowledge to invest wisely. They raised the specter of short-term market losses without mentioning the invariable pattern of long-term gains on which the private-investment concept is based.

And they harped on the fact that the guaranteed portion of the Social Security retirement package would be reduced - without mentioning the notion that the reduction would be more than covered by proceeds from the privately invested account...

Maybe the plan, with all its details open to view, will prove to be fatally flawed. But there's also a good chance, based on how much is known, that courageous, informed, risk-taking wealth-generation has met its match in a timorous intolerance for anything other than a perpetually small, and shrinking, guarantee.

To be fair, the OWH did call President Bush "an ineffective promoter," but that was it for balance. For all the fear-mongering the OWH is responsible for on a daily basis, you'd think that cautious nature would bleed into their politics, especially with as big a gamble as opening Social Security to the markets, effectively removing the "security" aspect that is the system's whole reason for being.

Ah, but yes, consistency and principle have no place interfering with the World-Herald's patently one-sided agenda. What else is new?


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