Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Triple dog dare

In “Too Great for its own good,” Philip Klein notes that if Democrats are so sure that personal accounts would drive millions into poverty, they should let partial privatization fail and validate the liberal tradition of Social Security:

But if liberals believe that most Americans don't want the voluntary personal accounts, their savviest move would be to endorse President Bush's proposal. They should let all of us wacky free marketers invest part of our payroll taxes in the stock market. Since there are so few of us, the transition costs ought to be pretty low.

Decades from now, having gambled our retirement away, we will subsist on macaroni and cheese, envious of our government-loving brethren who indulge in pan-seared filet mignon. The shame will be too much to bear. Sheepishly, we will crawl back to politicians on our hands and knees, begging government to take care of us. It will be the ultimate triumph of liberalism.

But liberals would never accept this wager. While they may be skeptical of personal accounts, they also fear that maybe, just maybe, the accounts will be a smashing success.
Just so.

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