Friday, July 11, 2008

More straight talk from John McCain

You'd think after the "nation of whiners" comment from his close friend and economic advisor, former Senator Phil Gramm (TX) and economist, that McCain might not be so dumb as to call the greatest anti-poverty program, certainly in US history and perhaps one of the best in the world, a disgrace:

"Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed," he said. article here

Yup, Social Security has a demographic problem, no doubt. It requires a temporary fix which might be required for 30 years, but eventually the boomers (of which I am one) will die off.

Social Security never was and is not an investment program. If McCain is principled, he would also rail against saving money through life insurance or indeed, any kind of insurance system. It is a bad investment because the only way insurance works is if most never make a claim. Social Security, set up in the 30s, was a typical insurance system, where many of those who would pay in, would indeed never get any benefits out because the life epectancy then was much lower, lower than the retirement age.

that has changed and with it, changes are required...such as increasing the age at with folks can draw social security (that has already happened and needs probably to be increased again).

Privatizing social security wouldn't be such a bad idea if the old pension systems were still in effect, but increasingly retirments are private....there needs to be some kind of insurance system in place for failures of those systems. If the housing crisis right now doesn't show the wisdom in some kind of social insuracne, I don't know what will? In a week, my market based retirement fund lost several percent of its value...some of my private investments are to pay for my kids college education, but over nite it lost 3% of its value. Yes, it could increase tomorrow by 3%, but it seems to me, and maybe I am wrong, but losses seem to occur faster in the short run than do gains. So my 3% over night loss might take me weeks or months to recover. Not good for retirement planning. As least social security can be counted on...boring, steady, consistent. Geez, I thought those were conservative values.

But the deep seated hatred of Social Security among conservatives, especially ones of means, is well known. And it shows class resentment as well as a class war. No doubt, social security is a better deal for workers on the lower side of the income ladder. (Contrary to recent claims made by, Senator McCain about it being a detriment to African Americans).

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