Social Security In The Red
The New York Times reports that Social Security is going into the red about 9 years before it was forecast. This is largely due to the current high unemployment, resulting in less FICA withholding being paid in.
We’ve known for years that the Social Security, and Medicare for that matter, system was in trouble, headed for financial difficulties. There were ample opportunities to try to work something out, and still might actually be time before complete disaster. However, as I once heard George Will say regarding this, no politician will do anything about it until three weeks before the checks won’t clear.
One of George W Bush’s campaign platforms was a partial privatization of the program. I was, and still am, fully in support of such an idea. Arguments can be made about volatile markets, losing ground with 401k(s), Wall Street mismanagement, and so forth. And you would have a point. However, I think I’d rather take my chances with a mix of growth stocks and conservative investment strategies than place my full trust in Washington DC whose only reason to exist seems to be getting reelected to tax more of our business and spend more of our money on things that we don’t want or need.
Democrats can take most of the blame for this. They demonized and derided any attempt by Bush to rework the system. And don’t forget, the Bush Administration attempted on at least a couple of occasions to point out and try to correct problems inside Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, problems that arguably led to the housing bubble, failed banks, and “toxic asset” mess, with Dem politicians insisting that banks give home loans to people who would not otherwise have qualified for them. Which all cascaded into the weak markets, mass layoffs, and high unemployment, resulting in Social Security not getting the payroll taxes to stay in the black on the balance sheets. Oh, and the Democrats insisted there was not a problem, nary a one, at Fanny and Freddy.
Everyone liking that Hope and Change so far?