Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Unsocial Insecurity

Just yesterday, I was thinking that if could ask the Democratic presidential candidates a single question it would be this: “Without telling me what you wouldn’t do, explain how you would save Social Security for the generation after the Baby Boomers.” That is, I don’t want criticism of Personal Savings Accounts or the Bush tax cuts. What is the plan to regenerate a system that is going to go flat broke in 2040 (the trouble starts sooner):

According to the Social Security trustees, Medicare's expenses start to exceed benefits in 2013, less than ten years from now. Social Security follows suit in 2017. 2040 isn't the date when we need to start worrying; it's the date when we finally give up pretending that Social Security is anything other than a gigantic Ponzi scheme, and the suckers revolt.

After he’s re-elected, I sincerely hope that President Bush marshals all of his political will to fix the overwhelming problem of entitlements, whether through personal savings accounts of some other repair. Despite weekly proddings by Tim Russert, the Democrats don’t seem to be willing to even admit that the problem exists.

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