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View Full Version : JAZ: "Privatization Of Soc. Security Was One Of the Best Things [Bush] Ever Proposed"


RINGLEADER
03-06-2005, 06:25 PM
"There aren't a lot of things that Bush has said or done that I got excited about, but the privitization of SS was one of the best things he ever proposed. Too bad it was the 2nd thing he ignored after he came into office, after terrorism." - jAZ, circa May, 2004

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=1715731&postcount=17

Still trying to figure out what changed Jaz's opinion...I guess Bush's victory in November must have had something to do with it. If you read the link above Jaz was even promoting the fact that O'Neill and Greenspan were saying it would cost a trillion dollars and Jaz takes Bush to task for not acting on it.

jAZ
03-06-2005, 06:39 PM
Bush doesn't mean what he says he means...

When Bush says "add on" to SS, he really means partly in place of. If he had been more clear from the beginning, I wouldn't have been mislead.

But you fully understood this though, didn't you? It's just another deliberate attempt to butcher what someone says and cram it into the box you want it to fit in, so that you can point an scream about it.

RINGLEADER
03-06-2005, 06:45 PM
Bush doesn't mean what he says he means...

When Bush says "add on" to SS, he really means partly in place of. If he had been more clear from the beginning, I wouldn't have been mislead.

But you fully understood this though, didn't you? It's just another deliberate attempt to butcher what someone says and cram it into the box you want it to fit in, so that you can point an scream about it.


ROFL

So what you meant to say was: "When I said I was for BUSH'S privatization plan, I really thought what he was proposing was something different than what he said, so when I said that I supported it before, it was only because I wasn't listening."?

The fact is that Bush's plan for social security has pretty much always been to take a portion of social security and put it into private accounts, as the link you posted in the link I referenced above illustrates.

The fact is, Jaz, that you chastised Bush for not acting on O'Neill and Greenspan's recommendations which were to put private accounts in place specifically to REPLACE a portion of future social security liabilities. And you cited this fact when you complained about Bush not enacting THAT plan. This is the pertinent paragraph from YOUR link:

Mr. O'Neill also pushed the president to set aside $1 trillion of the projected surpluses to fund one of Mr. Bush's big ideas during the campaign: the privatization of Social Security. <B>Allowing people to invest Social Security contributions into <U>private retirement accounts would reduce the government's future retirement liabilities</U>, but the government would need to cover obligations to existing retirees without the money coming in from existing workers.</B>

Heck, Jaz, I just went back to your original post and even YOU cited the above paragraph. So maybe you can take another crack at explaining why you're suddenly singing a different tune.

|Zach|
03-06-2005, 06:57 PM
I guess I will file this thread under the "petty bickering children" section.

RINGLEADER
03-06-2005, 07:05 PM
I guess I will file this thread under the "petty bickering children" section.


That's too bad. I'd really like to understand why one of the few areas that Jaz and I agreed on last year has suddenly become something that he's against. The only way the problem is going to get resolved is if conservatives and liberals work together and come to a consensus on the matter.

I'd be all for higher tax thresholds in the program. Means test the benefits. Address the COLAs. Do all the things that conservatives normally don't approve of...if it means putting a program in place that is voluntary and allows everyone in it to earn a better return on the money they're contributing.

I'd even be for giving up on all the contributions I've made to date because, in reality, I'm not going to come close to recouping them anyway. My last social security statement told me so.

The thing that is really confusing is how strongly the Dems oppose a program that Bush has always said will be VOLUNTARY. I think it's because they know that the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans who will be eligible will indeed opt out of the present system...and if that's the case then aren't those opposing reforms wrong in their opposition?

Duck Dog
03-06-2005, 07:10 PM
jAZ;

"I was for the Bush SS overhaul......before I was against it."



Sound familiar? ROFL

jAZ
03-06-2005, 07:11 PM
"When I said I was for BUSH'S privatization plan, I really thought what he was proposing was something different than what he said, so when I said that I supported it before, it was only because I wasn't listening."?

The fact is that Bush's plan for social security has pretty much always been to take a portion of social security and put it into private accounts, as the link you posted in the link I referenced above illustrates.

The fact is, Jaz, that you chastised Bush for not acting on O'Neill and Greenspan's recommendations which were to put private accounts in place specifically to REPLACE a portion of future social security liabilities. And you cited this fact when you complained about Bush not enacting THAT plan. This is the pertinent paragraph from YOUR link:



Heck, Jaz, I just went back to your original post and even YOU cited the above paragraph. So maybe you can take another crack at explaining why you're suddenly singing a different tune.
We all have a far greater understanding of what the Republicans are proposing today, than Bush ever made clear in his first term. Whether it was Bush keeping quite about his vision or my mis-impression of that vision... the fact is, that what I thought I was endorsing isn't what is proposed today.

Though it appears Bush is open to just exactly what I support... if he can't get any other support.

I also like the fact that Bush is trying to convince the world that his plan is just an "add-on". I guess you missed my reference to the latest controversy of political spin.

Cochise
03-06-2005, 07:26 PM
jAZ;

"I was for the Bush SS overhaul......before I was against it."



Sound familiar? ROFL

ROFL

mlyonsd
03-06-2005, 08:16 PM
"There aren't a lot of things that Bush has said or done that I got excited about, but the privitization of SS was one of the best things he ever proposed. Too bad it was the 2nd thing he ignored after he came into office, after terrorism." - jAZ, circa May, 2004

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=1715731&postcount=17

Still trying to figure out what changed Jaz's opinion...I guess Bush's victory in November must have had something to do with it. If you read the link above Jaz was even promoting the fact that O'Neill and Greenspan were saying it would cost a trillion dollars and Jaz takes Bush to task for not acting on it.
RL, please, oh please, if I could just ask one favor.

If I ever do a complete 180 on a topic without explaining my justification.....please oh please pm me and ask me what I meant b4 pointing it out publicly and making me look like a fool.

You owe it to me knowing I'm a devoted Chief fan. :)

Pitt Gorilla
03-06-2005, 08:38 PM
Hey, look, you're wrong; I caught you! Lookie at me calling you out! I'll pretend I just want to understand while I try to rub your nose in it. I'm a big man! :)

headsnap
03-06-2005, 08:49 PM
Hey, look, you're wrong; I caught you! Lookie at me calling you out! I'll pretend I just want to understand while I try to rub your nose in it. I'm a big man! :)

Hey, look, I'm an elitist ass; I'm too intelligent to actually participate in these debates! I'll just stand over here and point fingers. I'm a big man! :)






already ducking in anticipation of the next post.. :p

KCWolfman
03-06-2005, 08:51 PM
Hey, look, you're wrong; I caught you! Lookie at me calling you out! I'll pretend I just want to understand while I try to rub your nose in it. I'm a big man! :)
I don't think it is a matter of being wrong as it is a matter of being a hypocrite - and one that deserves an explanation. Especially from someone making thread after thread at how evil privatization is.

But paint it any color you want to feel better.

BIG_DADDY
03-06-2005, 09:15 PM
We all have a far greater understanding of what the Republicans are proposing today,. ROFL

Yea spin that jaz, he just pulled your covers like a MO. It's a shame when someone's hatred grows beyond their ability to address things with level head.

I hate Bush too but my positions have never changed.

|Zach|
03-06-2005, 09:25 PM
I don't think it is a matter of being wrong as it is a matter of being a hypocrite - and one that deserves an explanation. Especially from someone making thread after thread at how evil privatization is.

But paint it any color you want to feel better.
I don't think Pitt thinks Jaz is not a hypocrite or not wrong but the idea that RL made this thread so that Jaz could "explain himself" is laughable. Jaz is spinning himseld silly here he has nowhere to stand. If you are going to rub someone's nose in it then thats not a problem. It happens alot around here. But if its going to happen then own it.

KCWolfman
03-06-2005, 09:32 PM
I don't think Pitt thinks Jaz is not a hypocrite or not wrong but the idea that RL made this thread is so that Jaz could "explain himself" is laughable. Jaz is spinning himseld silly here he has nowhere to stand. If you are going to rub someone's nose in it then thats not a problem. It happens alot around here. But if its going to happen then own it.
RL obviously is acting innocent, but it is a slam.

Of course, jAZ could have just 'fessed up and admitted it was the author he decrys and not the message, but then he would have been ridiculed anyway.

You do have a point.

|Zach|
03-06-2005, 09:34 PM
You do have a point.
I have many, I keep them in this bag but it turns out there is a hole in the bag and all of my good points are spread out around Springfield after taking a walk.

Sucks for me.

KCWolfman
03-06-2005, 09:41 PM
I have many, I keep them in this bag but it turns out there is a hole in the bag and all of my good points are spread out around Springfield after taking a walk.

Sucks for me.
I used to keep all my stuff in a bag, too. Then she left and took all my stuff with her.

Now I just catalog it at home instead.

|Zach|
03-06-2005, 09:42 PM
I used to keep all my stuff in a bag, too. Then she left and took all my stuff with her.

Now I just catalog it at home instead.
Thats not even counting what is yours that she keeps in a jar. :)

KCWolfman
03-06-2005, 09:43 PM
Thats not even counting what is yours that she keeps in a jar. :)
Ahhh, but when she takes it out......

|Zach|
03-06-2005, 09:46 PM
Ahhh, but when she takes it out......
http://www.horton-szar.net/pictures/birthdays/Assets/images/pic_eddie60_eddiehat.jpg

Herzig
03-06-2005, 09:59 PM
Does SS need to be fixed? Yes. Is Bush the Pres. to do it? I vote no. If Bush "fixes" SS like he did with education(ala NCLB), a lot of people will suffer.

Pitt Gorilla
03-06-2005, 10:19 PM
I don't think Pitt thinks Jaz is not a hypocrite or not wrong but the idea that RL made this thread is so that Jaz could "explain himself" is laughable. Jaz is spinning himseld silly here he has nowhere to stand. If you are going to rub someone's nose in it then thats not a problem. It happens alot around here. But if its going to happen then own it.Yeah, whatever makes you feel better... :)

BIG_DADDY
03-06-2005, 10:24 PM
Does SS need to be fixed? Yes. Is Bush the Pres. to do it? I vote no. If Bush "fixes" SS like he did with education(ala NCLB), a lot of people will suffer.

That's like comparing apples and monk fish. I agree education needs to be fixed, it won't be until it's privatized though. SS needs to be tossed or privatized, period.

jAZ
03-06-2005, 10:26 PM
ROFL

Yea spin that jaz, he just pulled your covers like a MO. It's a shame when someone's hatred grows beyond their ability to address things with level head.

I hate Bush too but my positions have never changed.
My position hasn't changed.

My position wasn't relative to my understanding of Bush's position. My position has been the same all along. There is zero spin to this. I do "fess up" to supporting Bush's "plan" more broadly than I should have. But you won't find anything that ACTUALLY contradicts my position wanting SS private accounts as an additional investment above SS... because that's been my position all along.

Whether I supported Bush's plan or not, wasn't due to any change in my views on the actual issue, but a change in my understanding of what Bush wanted to do.

Herzig
03-06-2005, 10:43 PM
That's like comparing apples and monk fish. I agree education needs to be fixed, it won't be until it's privatized though. SS needs to be tossed or privatized, period.

My point is....why should we allow a man who can't even form a complete sentence fix education or social security?

Pitt Gorilla
03-06-2005, 10:54 PM
My point is....why should we allow a man who can't even form a complete sentence fix education or social security?Bush's idiocy regarding education really has nothing to do with his intellect, which is why I don't agree with, or like, your argument. Bush HAD to know about the research that noted that a program like NCLB would not work; he just didn't care. Good or bad, he's driven by his beliefs. In the case of SS, his beliefs could be right on target. I honestly have no idea.

Taco John
03-07-2005, 01:40 AM
Bush doesn't mean what he says he means...

When Bush says "add on" to SS, he really means partly in place of. If he had been more clear from the beginning, I wouldn't have been mislead.

But you fully understood this though, didn't you? It's just another deliberate attempt to butcher what someone says and cram it into the box you want it to fit in, so that you can point an scream about it.


Wow. It's hard to believe that the Democrats are getting their asses kicked so bad with responses like this.

As for me, Bush's privitization plan isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction, IMO.

patteeu
03-07-2005, 09:22 AM
I guess I will file this thread under the "petty bickering children" section.

Maybe you should file it under the "jAZ got OWNED like a pretty young boy in a maximum security prison" section instead.

patteeu
03-07-2005, 09:25 AM
We all have a far greater understanding of what the Republicans are proposing today, than Bush ever made clear in his first term. Whether it was Bush keeping quite about his vision or my mis-impression of that vision... the fact is, that what I thought I was endorsing isn't what is proposed today.

Though it appears Bush is open to just exactly what I support... if he can't get any other support.

I also like the fact that Bush is trying to convince the world that his plan is just an "add-on". I guess you missed my reference to the latest controversy of political spin.

Unfortunately for you, he never described it as an "add-on" back in the days when you were supporting it. It's convenient to grasp at that straw now and say you were misled, but the timeline doesn't work.

patteeu
03-07-2005, 09:28 AM
Hey, look, you're wrong; I caught you! Lookie at me calling you out! I'll pretend I just want to understand while I try to rub your nose in it. I'm a big man! :)

Even Pitt Gorilla understands that jAZ was bitch-slapped with his own words in this thread. What's really sad though, is that jAZ can't just admit that he flipflopped. It has to be someone else's fault (i.e. Evil Bush misled me).

patteeu
03-07-2005, 09:32 AM
My position hasn't changed.


ROFL

RINGLEADER
03-07-2005, 10:04 AM
We all have a far greater understanding of what the Republicans are proposing today, than Bush ever made clear in his first term. Whether it was Bush keeping quite about his vision or my mis-impression of that vision... the fact is, that what I thought I was endorsing isn't what is proposed today.


Okay. Fair enough.

But the problem is that what you were claiming to have supported (and deriding Bush for not passing) a year ago is exactly what you're now arguing against. Take Bush completely out of the equation. The fact is that a year ago you complained that Bush had failed you because he hadn't followed through on the O'Neill/Greenspan plan to borrow funds to privatize social security so that future obligations could be reduced and now you're complaining that that SAME PLAN is now a Bush "bait and switch".

Do you favor privatizing part of social security so that future benefits under the present system can be lowered as you claimed last year or not? Do you really hate Bush so much that you'd be willing to stick with a system that is DESTINED to fail when you can change the system, make those changes voluntary, and allow those who opt into this voluntary system to earn more money?

Nevermind how you've changed your tune, Jaz, how can you even be against the concept of a) letting people choose if they want to be in the new system, b) letting people earn and retain more of their FICA withholdings, and c) enable an entitlement that can no longer function in its present form to return to its what gets paid in, gets paid out roots? Instead of trying to demagogue the issue the Dems should be coming up with concepts like raising the taxable rates and means testing - two things that play against my own interest that I would readily support in exchange for personal accounts.

RINGLEADER
03-07-2005, 10:06 AM
RL, please, oh please, if I could just ask one favor.

If I ever do a complete 180 on a topic without explaining my justification.....please oh please pm me and ask me what I meant b4 pointing it out publicly and making me look like a fool.

You owe it to me knowing I'm a devoted Chief fan. :)


:thumb:

But what if you do a 180 and then try to tell everyone that you really didn't do that 180?

RINGLEADER
03-07-2005, 10:11 AM
ROFL

Yea spin that jaz, he just pulled your covers like a MO. It's a shame when someone's hatred grows beyond their ability to address things with level head.

I hate Bush too but my positions have never changed.


And I hate a whole bunch of Bush policies (sorry, but I don't actually hate the man)...unfortunately the Dems can't seem to produce candidates with better ideas on issues like drug policy, taxes, spending, national defense, etc., etc. I've said before that I really like Joe Biden on national defense and as a person, but his party-line rhetoric on social security is pretty disheartening. Propose increased tax rates, means testing, COLA changes, ANYTHING...just stop with trying to score political points and DO SOMETHING MAN!

By the time the Dems are done the partyline will be that Republicans will be borrowing $20 trillion to force you to put all of your money into Halliburton.

RINGLEADER
03-07-2005, 10:14 AM
I don't think Pitt thinks Jaz is not a hypocrite or not wrong but the idea that RL made this thread so that Jaz could "explain himself" is laughable. Jaz is spinning himseld silly here he has nowhere to stand. If you are going to rub someone's nose in it then thats not a problem. It happens alot around here. But if its going to happen then own it.

I'll own it...but the only reason I posted this thread was because my earlier attempts in other threads that Jaz started were ignored. I figured I'd help him remember. Besides, when I bothered to search down what he wrote it was so completely opposite of his present position (even using the same language that he now complains about) and when you also see that he used that position as a reason to not like Bush it's not only revealing, it's also quite funny.

But I do think it would be nice if he could explain what changed.

RINGLEADER
03-07-2005, 10:20 AM
My position hasn't changed.

My position wasn't relative to my understanding of Bush's position. My position has been the same all along. There is zero spin to this. I do "fess up" to supporting Bush's "plan" more broadly than I should have. But you won't find anything that ACTUALLY contradicts my position wanting SS private accounts as an additional investment above SS... because that's been my position all along.

Whether I supported Bush's plan or not, wasn't due to any change in my views on the actual issue, but a change in my understanding of what Bush wanted to do.


It's contradicted by your post Jaz. I don't need you to acknowledge that for it to be true, but your post indicates your approval of something that is NOT an add-on to social security but rather a way to reduce future benefits via privatization.

Besides, as I've said before, there are a variety of voluntary investment tools you can use that are "add-ons" to social security. 401k, IRAs, etc., etc. And if you create an "add-on" that doesn't reform and change the way social security operates you're still headed for a system that doesn't pay out what it promises (they're upfront about that on the front of your social security statement), and beginning in 2042, if the economy continues at a nice clip and there are no recessions, begins costing the government hundreds of billions to fund. Those are the facts.

RINGLEADER
03-07-2005, 10:23 AM
Wow. It's hard to believe that the Democrats are getting their asses kicked so bad with responses like this.

As for me, Bush's privitization plan isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction, IMO.

My thoughts exactly.

He's going to need to raise taxes to fund this at the end of the day...something that the GOPers are going to hate, but something that needs to happen. The bottomline is that the present system is unsustainable. Plus, when you consider that any plan would be voluntary, and that the vast majority of people eligible would join it, it seems to me that it can't be wrong to slowly change to an ownership retirement system.

mlyonsd
03-07-2005, 10:33 AM
My thoughts exactly.

He's going to need to raise taxes to fund this at the end of the day...something that the GOPers are going to hate, but something that needs to happen. The bottomline is that the present system is unsustainable. Plus, when you consider that any plan would be voluntary, and that the vast majority of people eligible would join it, it seems to me that it can't be wrong to slowly change to an ownership retirement system.

I just want the bickering to stop and both sides to talk as bi-partisans and look at all options instead of having a giant turf battle. This is serious stuff and the sooner we fix it the better off we'll be.

headsnap
03-07-2005, 10:37 AM
:thumb:

But what if you do a 180 and then try to tell everyone that you really didn't do that 180?
Jaz didn't do a 180...


he took two left turns... ;)

patteeu
03-07-2005, 10:42 AM
It's contradicted by your post Jaz. I don't need you to acknowledge that for it to be true, but your post indicates your approval of something that is NOT an add-on to social security but rather a way to reduce future benefits via privatization.

Besides, as I've said before, there are a variety of voluntary investment tools you can use that are "add-ons" to social security. 401k, IRAs, etc., etc. And if you create an "add-on" that doesn't reform and change the way social security operates you're still headed for a system that doesn't pay out what it promises (they're upfront about that on the front of your social security statement), and beginning in 2042, if the economy continues at a nice clip and there are no recessions, begins costing the government hundreds of billions to fund. Those are the facts.

It's not as rosy as you seem to be painting it (although I'm not disputing your accuracy). In 2018, the government has to start borrowing money to pay back the interest on the IOU's that are currently held in the so-called trust fund so that benefits can be paid. The government has to steadily increase it's borrowing through 2028 when it will have to begin to redeem those IOUs so that the principal can be used to pay benefits. In 2042, the IOUs are exhausted completely and SS benefits will have to be subsidized by continued and increased borrowing. The borrowing begins in 2018 though, not 2042 as some might misinterpret your post to suggest.

patteeu
03-07-2005, 10:48 AM
My thoughts exactly.

He's going to need to raise taxes to fund this at the end of the day...something that the GOPers are going to hate, but something that needs to happen. The bottomline is that the present system is unsustainable. Plus, when you consider that any plan would be voluntary, and that the vast majority of people eligible would join it, it seems to me that it can't be wrong to slowly change to an ownership retirement system.

Taxes don't need to be raised to solve the solvency problem of SS. It's very likely that any compromise with democrats will have to include increased taxes, because that's their game. But even the AARP suggests that it might be possible to solve the insolvency issue with a reasonable clawback* from private accounts and a cut in benefits represented by a change in the calculation of those benefits that uses price indexing instead of wage indexing.

*By clawback I mean that a given SS recipient's pay-as-you-go benefit would be reduced by the equivalent of his private account principal contributions and an imputed 3% return on those contributions. Any return over 3% would be a benefit increase for the retiree and it would be available for him to do with as he wishes (including the ability to leave it to an heir).

|Zach|
03-07-2005, 12:29 PM
Maybe you should file it under the "jAZ got OWNED like a pretty young boy in a maximum security prison" section instead.
Nah, it was filed pretty well the first time around.

Pitt Gorilla
03-07-2005, 01:18 PM
I'll own it...but the only reason I posted this thread was because my earlier attempts in other threads that Jaz started were ignored. I figured I'd help him remember. Besides, when I bothered to search down what he wrote it was so completely opposite of his present position (even using the same language that he now complains about) and when you also see that he used that position as a reason to not like Bush it's not only revealing, it's also quite funny.

But I do think it would be nice if he could explain what changed.Maybe Jaz could own up and you could get over yourself?!? :)

|Zach|
03-07-2005, 01:22 PM
Maybe Jaz could own up and you could get over yourself?!? :)
Jaz will have to get out the knee pads and go to work until RL's ego is satisfied.

homey
03-07-2005, 01:33 PM
I wonder where Bush's mission to Mars would rank?

Pitt Gorilla
03-07-2005, 01:43 PM
Jaz will have to get out the knee pads and go to work until RL's ego is satisfied. ROFL

KCWolfman
03-07-2005, 04:53 PM
I wonder where Bush's mission to Mars would rank?
He asked while using his computer built directly from space technological advancements.

patteeu
03-08-2005, 07:35 AM
I wonder where Bush's mission to Mars would rank?

Did you post this in the right thread?

jAZ
03-08-2005, 08:25 AM
Okay. Fair enough.

But the problem is that what you were claiming to have supported (and deriding Bush for not passing) a year ago is exactly what you're now arguing against. Take Bush completely out of the equation. The fact is that a year ago you complained that Bush had failed you because he hadn't followed through on the O'Neill/Greenspan plan to borrow funds to privatize social security so that future obligations could be reduced and now you're complaining that that SAME PLAN is now a Bush "bait and switch".

Do you favor privatizing part of social security so that future benefits under the present system can be lowered as you claimed last year or not? Do you really hate Bush so much that you'd be willing to stick with a system that is DESTINED to fail when you can change the system, make those changes voluntary, and allow those who opt into this voluntary system to earn more money?

Nevermind how you've changed your tune, Jaz, how can you even be against the concept of a) letting people choose if they want to be in the new system, b) letting people earn and retain more of their FICA withholdings, and c) enable an entitlement that can no longer function in its present form to return to its what gets paid in, gets paid out roots? Instead of trying to demagogue the issue the Dems should be coming up with concepts like raising the taxable rates and means testing - two things that play against my own interest that I would readily support in exchange for personal accounts.
Jesus...

You really don't care what's posted, you are gonna say whatever the hell you want and declare it's what I've said.

Maybe bullet points will help you get your mind around this calculus...

1) I was wrong in endorsing Bush's plan. My understanding of his plan was incomplete.
2) I have always, and as far as I know will always support private accounts that aren't intended to divert/replace/phase out SS.
3) You won't find anything that contradicts point #2, because it's been my position all along. No matter how hard you try to RINGLEADER things to make it look differently, my opinion on private accounts remains exactly the same today as it did 4 years ago.
4) You have repeatedly pulled up the same stuff (again and again without reading even one of my replies apparently) that contradicts #1. I've "fessed up" to being wrong to broadly support Bush's plan repeatedly. But that's not what/why you are doing this. This is about spraying your load... I hope you enjoy it and the others enjoy strokin you off on your journey.

I'm not even going to respond to any substantive issues on SS at this point, at least until I see someone have "finished" you off. I don't need RINGLEADER-spunk on my clothes this morning.

Let me know when you are done.

patteeu
03-08-2005, 08:38 AM
Jesus...

You really don't care what's posted, you are gonna say whatever the hell you want and declare it's what I've said.

Maybe bullet points will help you get your mind around this calculus...

1) I was wrong in endorsing Bush's plan. My understanding of his plan was incomplete.
2) I have always, and as far as I know will always support private accounts that aren't intended to divert/replace/phase out SS.
3) You won't find anything that contradicts point #2, because it's been my position all along. No matter how hard you try to RINGLEADER things to make it look differently, my opinion on private accounts remains exactly the same today as it did 4 years ago.
4) You have repeatedly pulled up the same stuff (again and again without reading even one of my replies apparently) that contradicts #1. I've "fessed up" to being wrong to broadly support Bush's plan repeatedly. But that's not what/why you are doing this. This is about spraying your load... I hope you enjoy it and the others enjoy strokin you off on your journey.

I'm not even going to respond to any substantive issues on SS at this point, at least until I see someone have "finished" you off. I don't need RINGLEADER-spunk on my clothes this morning.

Let me know when you are done.

You'd have to be an idiot to have thought that Bush was proposing a new program on top of the current SS. I don't believe you because I don't think you are an idiot.

RINGLEADER
03-08-2005, 04:47 PM
I wonder where Bush's mission to Mars would rank?


Absolutely quality retort.

ROFL ROFL ROFL

:thumb:

RINGLEADER
03-08-2005, 04:59 PM
You'd have to be an idiot to have thought that Bush was proposing a new program on top of the current SS. I don't believe you because I don't think you are an idiot.

Jaz says he's consistent, but the link to his post from last year specifically mentions funding private accounts to REPLACE future social security payments. It doesn't say anything about an "add-on". It says quite clearly that it would be INSTEAD OF, not in addition to. Furthermore, Jaz, you were using that NY Times article that you excerpted as evidence of the kind of program you felt Bush deserved disdain for not passing (not some nebulous misunderstanding of Bush's actual plan).

I don't believe Jaz is an idiot either...which is why I'm sure he'll sign up for personal accounts the first chance he gets. Along with most everyone else.

If Bush's plan is to destroy social security, as the Dem leadership claims, it's only because most of Americans who would be eligible for the new program would be the ones actually CHOOSING the new system over the old one. Remember, it's going to be a VOLUNTARY program. If you want to suck from the government's teat in your twilight years then enjoy...but at least give those who want to retire with actual money and higher checks each month the opportunity to do it.

RINGLEADER
03-08-2005, 05:01 PM
BTW, Jaz, how 'bout that Bell signing?

;)

patteeu
03-08-2005, 08:04 PM
I don't believe Jaz is an idiot either...which is why I'm sure he'll sign up for personal accounts the first chance he gets.

LOL. It's hard to come up with a good theory about why jAZ and the democrats would oppose a voluntary plan other than the political calculation that SS in it's current form breeds democrats and SS with voluntary private accounts would breed republicans.

BIG_DADDY
03-08-2005, 09:06 PM
LOL. It's hard to come up with a good theory about why jAZ and the democrats would oppose a voluntary plan other than the political calculation that SS in it's current form breeds democrats and SS with voluntary private accounts would breed republicans.

I know why jaz would, he's angry about the election. He has been left like this ever since the election began. Why else would someone go out and bring their little commy budyy here? I'll tell you why to piss off the BB and anyone who he thinks aided Bush getting back into office. It's really a shame his energy could be used in more constructive ways like figuring out how to briing the Democratic party even remotely close to the middle again.

Lefty's Alter Ego
03-08-2005, 09:09 PM
A flat tax would encourage poor people to work harder, unlike the current system....

SS makes about as much sense as the minimum wage.
If you believe in capitalism, that is.

jAZ
03-08-2005, 11:18 PM
Jaz says he's consistent, but the link to his post from last year specifically mentions funding private accounts to REPLACE future social security payments. It doesn't say anything about an "add-on". It says quite clearly that it would be INSTEAD OF, not in addition to. Furthermore, Jaz, you were using that NY Times article that you excerpted as evidence of the kind of program you felt Bush deserved disdain for not passing (not some nebulous misunderstanding of Bush's actual plan).

I don't believe Jaz is an idiot either...which is why I'm sure he'll sign up for personal accounts the first chance he gets. Along with most everyone else.

If Bush's plan is to destroy social security, as the Dem leadership claims, it's only because most of Americans who would be eligible for the new program would be the ones actually CHOOSING the new system over the old one. Remember, it's going to be a VOLUNTARY program. If you want to suck from the government's teat in your twilight years then enjoy...but at least give those who want to retire with actual money and higher checks each month the opportunity to do it.
You do your best to ignore the facts and talk about the circumstances. But the fact is that I posted that article while complaing about Bush's decision to give tax cuts rather than address SS. You'll notice that the ARTICLE talks about Bush's replacing SS with PA's. You will also notice that ***I*** didn't mention supporting REPLACING anywhere.

Because I didn't support it.

And you are both right, I'm not an idiot. But that doesn't mean that I was paying close attention to the specifics of that article... other than to make my point about chosing to ignore his own advisors.

RINGLEADERS attempt at a gotcha is absent the gotcha part.

The reality is I do support PA's as an add on to SS. And if Bush agrees to implement that system, I will chear him roundly (while continuing to fight against his expected future efforts to phase out SS).

I can't tell if RL has blown his wad or gone limp, but once his chub is flacid again, and he (and everyone else) is ready to talk about the specifics of SS, I'll share my feelings on why SS is valuable, even when some people get less of a return that they might.

jAZ
03-08-2005, 11:26 PM
LOL. It's hard to come up with a good theory about why jAZ and the democrats would oppose a voluntary plan other than the political calculation that SS in it's current form breeds democrats and SS with voluntary private accounts would breed republicans.
Same reason the many oppose the assult weapons ban, physician assisted suicide, banning any form of abortion, etc.

The slippery slope.

The political forces on the right are hoping for more in the long term than a small portion of SS being voluntarily redirected into PA's. Many/most Republican's have been attempting to totally eliminate SS since it's creation.

The nature (failure) of the politics of ideology over pragmatism forces people to adopt an all or nothing approach to this positions because of the slippery slope. I am willing to make a rational compromise, but with the power that the Republicans wield right now, the risk of having a valuable system totally scrapped by an overzealous Republican party requires stratigic opposition and a good fight to "save" SS.

RINGLEADER
03-09-2005, 12:07 AM
You do your best to ignore the facts and talk about the circumstances. But the fact is that I posted that article while complaing about Bush's decision to give tax cuts rather than address SS. You'll notice that the ARTICLE talks about Bush's replacing SS with PA's. You will also notice that ***I*** didn't mention supporting REPLACING anywhere.

Because I didn't support it.

And you are both right, I'm not an idiot. But that doesn't mean that I was paying close attention to the specifics of that article... other than to make my point about chosing to ignore his own advisors.

RINGLEADERS attempt at a gotcha is absent the gotcha part.

The reality is I do support PA's as an add on to SS. And if Bush agrees to implement that system, I will chear him roundly (while continuing to fight against his expected future efforts to phase out SS).

I can't tell if RL has blown his wad or gone limp, but once his chub is flacid again, and he (and everyone else) is ready to talk about the specifics of SS, I'll share my feelings on why SS is valuable, even when some people get less of a return that they might.


:thumb:

You go Sparky...

You're the one who posted the words in the title of this thread. You're the one who cited Bush's failure to follow Paul O'Neill and Alan Greenspan's advice to set aside a trillion dollars in the budget to privatize social security so future benefits could be reduced. You're the one who claimed that Bush's failure to PRIVATIZE the system (not "add on" or any of the other attempts at revisionist history) was a negative. They're your points, not mine. And not even your attempts to deflect the conversation by talking about penises will change that.

ROFL

BTW, if you want to talk about fixing social security maybe you can explain how your idea to make/let people put money into private accounts in addition to social security fixes the solvency of the social security system. Or maybe you could explain why, if investing in private accounts is such a good thing in addition to social security, why it is such a bad thing as part of social security. Or how come it is so evil to have private accounts when you know that the vast majority of people who are eligible to use them actually would. Maybe you can explain how the system you want to continue is going to be able to make up the 27% shortfall now projected. Or how we would continue the current system without massive borrowing if we have a recession at any time in the next four decades. You also haven't explained why voluntary add-on accounts are even necessary. Just put your money in a mutual fund or buy a bond or buy some shares in a REIT or something.

RINGLEADER
03-09-2005, 12:13 AM
Same reason the many oppose the assult weapons ban, physician assisted suicide, banning any form of abortion, etc.

The slippery slope.

The political forces on the right are hoping for more in the long term than a small portion of SS being voluntarily redirected into PA's. Many/most Republican's have been attempting to totally eliminate SS since it's creation.

The nature (failure) of the politics of ideology over pragmatism forces people to adopt an all or nothing approach to this positions because of the slippery slope. I am willing to make a rational compromise, but with the power that the Republicans wield right now, the risk of having a valuable system totally scrapped by an overzealous Republican party requires stratigic opposition and a good fight to "save" SS.


But what if a new system can be put in place that's better Jaz? Do you really think that allowing people to actually retain their FICA contribution and invest it in something that over the life of their careers will net 7%-9% in the worst of times makes sense or not?

As I said before, social security WILL die in a generation if private accounts are implemented because a) the government can't sustain social security in its present form and b) most everyone eligible for private accounts will sign up for them.

Are you saying that you wouldn't put your money into a private account if such a thing were available? Seriously, I'm curious to know if you will or not.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 12:35 AM
:thumb:

You go Sparky...

You're the one who posted the words in the title of this thread. You're the one who cited Bush's failure to follow Paul O'Neill and Alan Greenspan's advice to set aside a trillion dollars in the budget to privatize social security so future benefits could be reduced. You're the one who claimed that Bush's failure to PRIVATIZE the system (not "add on" or any of the other attempts at revisionist history) was a negative. They're your points, not mine. And not even your attempts to deflect the conversation by talking about penises will change that.

ROFL

BTW, if you want to talk about fixing social security maybe you can explain how your idea to make/let people put money into private accounts in addition to social security fixes the solvency of the social security system. Or maybe you could explain why, if investing in private accounts is such a good thing in addition to social security, why it is such a bad thing as part of social security. Or how come it is so evil to have private accounts when you know that the vast majority of people who are eligible to use them actually would. Maybe you can explain how the system you want to continue is going to be able to make up the 27% shortfall now projected. Or how we would continue the current system without massive borrowing if we have a recession at any time in the next four decades. You also haven't explained why voluntary add-on accounts are even necessary. Just put your money in a mutual fund or buy a bond or buy some shares in a REIT or something.
And you still haven't posted a single quote that has me wanting to replace SS. Keep looking though... it's not my bandwidth you're wasting. I will give you one hint... maybe that will save on Kyle's hosting bill. Ready?

Hint #1: You won't find such a quote from me, because one doesn't even exist.
Hint #2: Such a quote doesn't exist, because I have never believe in replacing SS with PA's.

Oh wait, that's two hints. Well, consider the 2nd one a gift.

As for explaining the issues to you, I'm still keeping my distance. You let me know when you are finished.

|Zach|
03-09-2005, 06:21 AM
I guess I will file this thread under the "petty bickering children" section.
What can I say?

I am good.

The Pedestrian
03-09-2005, 06:37 AM
I guess I will file this thread under the "petty bickering children" section.

This is nothing compared to some of the crappy threads I've seen in WDCF...might as well keep it.

KCWolfman
03-09-2005, 07:27 AM
And you still haven't posted a single quote that has me wanting to replace SS. .


but the privitization of SS was one of the best things he ever proposed.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 08:22 AM
.
Nice work, now... you've mastered the art of the quote. Now on to mastering search methods and you will have the tools you need to find a quote that says REPLACE ss.

Toss a quarter Kyle's way for the bandwidth wasted though. Seems only fair you waste your money, not his.

patteeu
03-09-2005, 08:27 AM
This is reminicent of the thread where Frankie was painfully slow admitting that he'd been wrong about something he said he'd seen (Bush say?). He claimed to have it on tape, but his house was in disarray so it was going to take him a while to find it.

jAZ could end this by admitting that he's been busted by RINGLEADER (among others), but for some reason he'd just rather dance in a clown suit for our entertainment.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 08:46 AM
This is reminicent of the thread where Frankie was painfully slow admitting that he'd been wrong about something he said he'd seen (Bush say?). He claimed to have it on tape, but his house was in disarray so it was going to take him a while to find it.

jAZ could end this by admitting that he's been busted by RINGLEADER (among others), but for some reason he'd just rather dance in a clown suit for our entertainment.
I admitted days ago what there is to admit.

1) I was wrong for supporting Bush's plan too broadly.
2) I didn't consider a pretty major element of the plan at the time I tried to support him.
3) There is one major distinction between the Republian ideas proposed and mine: add-on vs. replacement.

And FTR, Bush seems to be making noise about supporting my view of PA accounts... if he does, I reserve the right to switch back my support of him.

KCTitus
03-09-2005, 08:53 AM
And FTR, Bush seems to be making noise about supporting my view of PA accounts... if he does, I reserve the right to switch back my support of him.

Raising taxes <> Personal Accounts...it's a joke that you even use those words. It's more DC speak like when the left refers to 'draconian cuts' which in real dollars are increase just smaller than originally planned.

patteeu
03-09-2005, 08:54 AM
I admitted days ago what there is to admit.

1) I was wrong for supporting Bush's plan too broadly.
2) I didn't consider a pretty major element of the plan at the time I tried to support him.
3) There is one major distinction between the Republian ideas proposed and mine: add-on vs. replacement.

And FTR, Bush seems to be making noise about supporting my view of PA accounts... if he does, I reserve the right to switch back my support of him.

It's been made clear by the Administration that Bush's recent use of the term "add-on" was a mistake.

But your story still rings hollow. To claim that when you said "privatization of SS" you really meant "whole new program on top of SS" is to divorce yourself from the English language. Can anything you say in the future ever be taken at face value?

jAZ
03-09-2005, 09:16 AM
It's been made clear by the Administration that Bush's recent use of the term "add-on" was a mistake.
I wasn't refering to Bush's recent use of the term "add-on". I was referring to his use of John Snow to make it known that Bush might consider the idea of an add-on program.

Bush's use of the term is something I mocked in my first couple replies to this thread. Those statements are certainly not to be confused with actual support to add-ons.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 09:19 AM
But your story still rings hollow. To claim that when you said "privatization of SS" you really meant "whole new program on top of SS" is to divorce yourself from the English language.
Acutally adding optional private accounts to SS is exactly one form "privatization" of SS. No divorce needed. Feel free to take whatever you want at face value. Or not.

No skin off my back either way.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 09:24 AM
I wasn't refering to Bush's recent use of the term "add-on". I was referring to his use of John Snow to make it known that Bush might consider the idea of an add-on program.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/03/politics/03social.html

Cochise
03-09-2005, 09:40 AM
But I thought the system wasn't flawed, why would it need to be changed in any way?

We just had a thread bumping for weeks whose title implied that the system wasn't flawed.

Velvet_Jones
03-09-2005, 10:13 AM
I stopped listnening to jAZ when I busted him lying during the 04 campaign. Every since then I just shake my head and laugh.

Velvet

jAZ
03-09-2005, 12:25 PM
But I thought the system wasn't flawed, why would it need to be changed in any way?

We just had a thread bumping for weeks whose title implied that the system wasn't flawed.
The system is incomplete as it is... SS was intended to be the most conservative (from an investment standpoint) part of a retirement plan that included other higher risk/return investments.

Add-on personal investment accounts that are available to the entire country (not just those with employee sponsored investment accounts) further complete SS.

SS was never intended to be the complete retirement package. It's merely the most risk-free part of that investment.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 12:26 PM
I stopped listnening to jAZ when I busted him lying during the 04 campaign. Every since then I just shake my head and laugh.

Velvet
Oh goody! Pull up the thread you are talking about! I can't wait to get a load of the actual facts behind your story.

|Zach|
03-09-2005, 01:08 PM
This is nothing compared to some of the crappy threads I've seen in WDCF...might as well keep it.
WDCF?

Joe Seahawk
03-09-2005, 01:23 PM
WDCF?

Washington D C forum?

:shrug:

Joe Seahawk
03-09-2005, 01:27 PM
This is reminicent of the thread where Frankie was painfully slow admitting that he'd been wrong about something he said he'd seen (Bush say?). He claimed to have it on tape, but his house was in disarray so it was going to take him a while to find it.

jAZ could end this by admitting that he's been busted by RINGLEADER (among others), but for some reason he'd just rather dance in a clown suit for our entertainment.

As far as I know Jaz still isn't sure if this document is a forgery.. :D

http://homepage.mac.com/cfj/.Pictures/aug1873-pdf-animate.gif

KCTitus
03-09-2005, 01:33 PM
SS was never intended to be the complete retirement package. It's merely the most risk-free part of that investment.

That's why the left uses the fear tactic about 'breaking the promise of the US govt to the American worker'.

redbrian
03-09-2005, 01:57 PM
The system is incomplete as it is... SS was intended to be the most conservative (from an investment standpoint) part of a retirement plan that included other higher risk/return investments.

Add-on personal investment accounts that are available to the entire country (not just those with employee sponsored investment accounts) further complete SS.

SS was never intended to be the complete retirement package. It's merely the most risk-free part of that investment.

Main Entry: investment
Function: noun
1 : the outlay of money usually for income or profit : capital outlay; also : the sum invested or the property purchased
2 : the commitment of funds with a view to minimizing risk and safeguarding capital while earning a return

The SS system is not now, nor was it ever intended to be an investment plan.

Using the words SS and investment in the same breath is ridicules.

As Hoover envisioned the system it was to be a pot of money available as a minimum safety net for the worker.

The idea was subverted by Roosevelt and following politicians into the giant cluster fuok the SS has evolved into.

The first half of the system is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple.

You and your employer stick in certain amount of money to pay those retirees currently receiving SS, with the hopes that their will be a big enough pot around when itís your turn to tap into it.

The second half of the system (the so called trust fund) created in the 80ís to create a surplus of monies for the retiring boomers, is another huge scam.

The only place the money can be put is in the retirement of T-bills, helping to give a false impression of a lower deficient.

These IOUís most years earn less than inflation thus realizing negative growth.

In addition the principle and interest will come from the tax payers, the very people who invested the money in the first place.

So Jaz please explain how this is good conservative investment practice.

jAZ
03-09-2005, 03:37 PM
Main Entry: investment
Function: noun
1 : the outlay of money usually for income or profit : capital outlay; also : the sum invested or the property purchased
2 : the commitment of funds with a view to minimizing risk and safeguarding capital while earning a return

The SS system is not now, nor was it ever intended to be an investment plan.

Using the words SS and investment in the same breath is ridicules.

As Hoover envisioned the system it was to be a pot of money available as a minimum safety net for the worker.

The idea was subverted by Roosevelt and following politicians into the giant cluster fuok the SS has evolved into.

The first half of the system is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple.

You and your employer stick in certain amount of money to pay those retirees currently receiving SS, with the hopes that their will be a big enough pot around when itís your turn to tap into it.

The second half of the system (the so called trust fund) created in the 80ís to create a surplus of monies for the retiring boomers, is another huge scam.

The only place the money can be put is in the retirement of T-bills, helping to give a false impression of a lower deficient.

These IOUís most years earn less than inflation thus realizing negative growth.

In addition the principle and interest will come from the tax payers, the very people who invested the money in the first place.

So Jaz please explain how this is good conservative investment practice.
IMO... waaaaay too much effort to get me to change the word "investment" to "retirement".

But you have succeeded.
SS was never intended to be the complete retirement package. It's merely the most risk-free part of that retirement package.
Enjoy.

patteeu
03-09-2005, 04:07 PM
Add-on personal investment accounts that are available to the entire country (not just those with employee sponsored investment accounts) further complete SS.

What on earth would a separate personal investment account program (the so-called "add-on" approach) have that you don't already get with an IRA? Don't get me wrong, eliiminating the limits to IRA contributions would be a great idea, but I don't understand what advantage there would be to an "add-on" plan.

I did read your NYTimes article, but I don't know what Sec. Snow is talking about. As far as I'm concerned, an add-on approach is a dumb idea (unless it's just another way of saying that IRAs would be expanded).

And nothing you've said in this thread changes the fact that you flipped from what looks like fake support of Bush's plan to your current position in support of a fake plan.

KCWolfman
03-09-2005, 04:54 PM
Nice work, now... you've mastered the art of the quote. Now on to mastering search methods and you will have the tools you need to find a quote that says REPLACE ss.

Toss a quarter Kyle's way for the bandwidth wasted though. Seems only fair you waste your money, not his.
but the privitization of SS was one of the best things he ever proposed.

Who needs the word replaced? The statement is clear on its own.

Nice try, but actually the only person who owes money is you. Mr. Clinton wants his royalties and states he doesn't mind if you ask for the definition of "is" as well.

Lefty's Alter Ego
03-10-2005, 09:51 PM
We need to stop taxing American's to death.
There's a reason it was called the "death tax", you know.

Open up ANWAR and and kill social insecurity, I say.

KCWolfman
03-10-2005, 10:13 PM
I reserve the right to switch back my support of him.

How can you switch back if you were never in his corner to begin with?

I am reminded of the Tea Party in Alice Through the Looking Glass

"Would you like more tea?"
"How can I have more if I haven't had any yet?"
"Well you certainly can't have less."

I hereby dub the act of retracting the statement of privatization a jAZflection in honor of his most obvious favorite author, Lewis Carroll.

Taco John
03-13-2005, 03:49 AM
I personally find it a shame that this privatization thing is falling flat. I really think it would be a great service to the country for it to go through, because it would give more people incentive to get involved in the market. I think that it's a shame that I'm not allowed to manage my retirement money just because some liberal somewhere is worried about someone who isn't smart enough or inclined to look out for their own best interests.

That being said, I think Bush is a pretty poor strategist for wasting his political capital on this issue. It just shows what a bought and sold politician this guy really is. If he really wanted to make a difference for the future of America, he should have used his capital to reform the education system.

KCWolfman
03-13-2005, 01:40 PM
I personally find it a shame that this privatization thing is falling flat. I really think it would be a great service to the country for it to go through, because it would give more people incentive to get involved in the market. I think that it's a shame that I'm not allowed to manage my retirement money just because some liberal somewhere is worried about someone who isn't smart enough or inclined to look out for their own best interests.

That being said, I think Bush is a pretty poor strategist for wasting his political capital on this issue. It just shows what a bought and sold politician this guy really is. If he really wanted to make a difference for the future of America, he should have used his capital to reform the education system.
This from the same guy who pushed for GWB to forward on the movement and not having the sack to do so several months ago?

And a supposed libertarian that wants federal reform to the educational system?

You are full of sh*t. But that's not unusual.

craneref
03-13-2005, 01:59 PM
Social Security is a basic Socialist concept, the government FORCES each worker to contribute so that the government can take care of them in their twilight years. While this is altruistic in concept it allows the working sector of the United States to be coddled. You can not take of yourselves, so we better do it for you. The government is not her to provide for my retirement, to provide jobs, to provide everyone health care, it is to allow a framework in which rights are protected and the freedom of its citizens are protected. Unfortuantely we as Americans (speaking in general) ahve become a dependent society, a grown adult wanting to go back to our mothers breast for nourishment. It is time that we grow up and start making our way in life, that we make sure we are ready for retirment, we have proper medical care, we make sure our children get to school and become educated. Before anyone goes off on the whole inner city kids don't ge the same ducation mantra, I went to college with several other students who grew up in overt poverty, one or both parents could not read, yet they made sur etheir children received the education they needed. It is not nearly as much an issue provided assets and far more an issue of the heart. If you set your heart on something, and are willing to work hard, you can accomplish anything in the United States. Somewhere along the line we have lost this great truth that America offers to us as citizens and to the entire world. Do you think that the world is beating down our door to live here for the Social Security benefits, for Health Care, for government created jobs, NO, but for an opportunity, realizing that all do not have equal chances, however all have equal opportunity. We do not all get the same starting line, but the finish line remains the samem we need to quit worrying about the race that others run and start concentrating ont he race that we are to run. I realize the benifits of Social Security for the handicapped, however, it should not be a crutch for retirement, and it is time that we start growing the Ameircan public to allow them to care for themselves. God Bless America and the AMERICAN work ethic.

patteeu
03-13-2005, 04:02 PM
I personally find it a shame that this privatization thing is falling flat. I really think it would be a great service to the country for it to go through, because it would give more people incentive to get involved in the market. I think that it's a shame that I'm not allowed to manage my retirement money just because some liberal somewhere is worried about someone who isn't smart enough or inclined to look out for their own best interests.

That being said, I think Bush is a pretty poor strategist for wasting his political capital on this issue. It just shows what a bought and sold politician this guy really is. If he really wanted to make a difference for the future of America, he should have used his capital to reform the education system.

First of all, I wouldn't count the Bush administration out on this issue just yet. They've shown a remarkable ability to do what the experts believe is impossible, although having said that, this time they are dealing with a wounded, cornered animal in the form of Congressional Democrats, so the challenge may indeed be too much for them. I agree that Democrat demagoguery seems to have the upperhand at the moment.

Second, why would you identify this issue as one which shows he is "bought and sold?" This is an ideological issue (ownership society vs social insurance society), not a special interests issue. Rich people don't care about the form of SS wrt to the impact it has on their own finances. Some might say that Wall Street stands to gain from private accounts, but I see no evidence that they are behind the push for SS reform. What this shows is that Bush has the "vision thing" and that he dreams big dreams.

Herzig
03-14-2005, 06:39 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2358&ncid=2358&e=11&u=/csm/20050314/wl_csm/oukpen_1

In Britain and Chile, lessons for revamping Social Security

Mon Mar 14, 9:28 AM ET


As the US weighs partial privatization, other countries with similar systems have lived with the challenges and benefits for decades.

By Mark Rice-Oxley and Jennifer Ross, Correspondents of The Christian Science Monitor

LONDON AND SANTIAGO, CHILE - A stretched social welfare budget. A right-of-center government keen to promote individual choice. An aging population. A pension system facing bankruptcy.

It sounds like the scenario outlined by President Bush (news - web sites) as he urges changes to Social Security (news - web sites).

But it could equally apply to Britain 15 years ago, when the country began offering partially private pension accounts - a policy that was hugely popular at first, but has since proven highly controversial.

Ten years before that, in Chile, things were even more dire. The military government, facing what was by all accounts an unsustainable retirement program and a possible default on its obligation to retirees, replaced the state-run pay-as-you-go system with a three-pillared, largely private one. Twenty-five years later, Chile is looked to as a model of how to retool Social Security.

At least 20 countries have added some kind of private component to their traditional pension systems, with seven more in the process of implementing them. Each offers lessons on how - and how not - to revamp Social Security. With President Bush and his Cabinet in the middle of their "60 stops in 60 days" tour to tout changes to the US retirement system, the Monitor asked its correspondents in London and Santiago to examine two of those lessons.

Chile's bold moves pay off
Chile has what economists call a fully funded system, containing enough money to cover all retirees if they simultaneously decided to cash out.

The first pillar is the state's responsibility, which covers workers who retired before 1980 and guarantees minimum pensions for poor workers.

The second and main pillar is the obligatory monthly payroll deduction of 12.3 percent. Ten percent goes into the worker's own account, administered by one of six private pension funds, while 2.3 percent covers administrative fees. Unlike in the US, the payroll tax is funded entirely by the employee. At retirement - age 60 for women, 65 for men - they take out what they put in, plus accumulated gains. Currently 3.6 million Chileans, or 65 percent of the 5.5 million-person workforce, are actively contributing under this system.

The third pillar is a voluntary, tax-deductible savings plan administered by banks. One can withdraw before retirement, or add it to a pension. Some 420,000 Chileans have this type of savings. "We have to be proud of Chile's system," says Guillermo Arthur, who runs Chile's pension program. He says that pensions have grown an average of 10.4 percent since 1981, far exceeding the 4 percent that he says they need to be profitable.

Today, Chile has more than $60 billion in pension investments, equivalent to more than a third of the country's gross domestic product. Mr. Arthur says that these funds have been crucial to economic growth in the 1980s because pensions were invested in Chilean companies.

For pensioners who contributed to the system for more than 20 years, the government kicks in the difference between a retiree's pension and the state's guaranteed monthly minimum of 75,000 pesos ($132). A recent study by Chile's Association of Pension Fund Administrators showed that 72 to 84 percent of workers who are contributing under the second pillar can expect to receive more than the minimum.

Ilda Alvarez is among the many Chileans who didn't contribute for 20 years, so she only gets back what she put in, plus gains, but not a government subsidy. Her husband, Manuel, made screws for a living, and was able to contribute for 10 years, receiving only $100 a month now.

Rent alone costs nearly as much as her husband's pension, which means Ilda has to keep working, at 70, to earn an extra $120 a month. It's the only way to make ends meet. "Look, I can't complain," Ilda says, "because if we didn't contribute more, we don't receive more."

Under the old system, they would have received none of Manuel's pension if he had worked a day less than 10 years. And even then he still might have taken a loss. Before 1980, many people were paying in more than they got back, explains Tomas Flores, an analyst with Freedom and Development, an independent think tank in Santiago.

"Workers used to have to contribute 34 percent of their salary to pensions and limited health coverage. Today it's only 12 percent for pensions and 7 percent for optional health coverage," he says. "And the returns on that investment are much higher under the new system."

Mr. Flores says one problem Chile has grappled with is administrative costs and the lack of choice. "In Chile, there are only six options, and, really, three of those companies cover the bulk of pensions. My advice to the US is that they try to ensure healthy competition among pension plan providers, perhaps letting banks get involved, too."

In Britain, a different story
Unbridled competition was the name of the game in Britain 15 years ago. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, workers snapped up the government's offer to switch some of their social-security payments to private accounts. The deal involved a lump-sum rebate from the state, a personalized retirement portfolio, and exposure to booming financial markets.



Now, more than a million people have claimed they've been duped in what was dubbed the "pension misspelling scandal." Lawsuits followed, and the government has paid out more than £13 billion ($24.9 million) in compensation. The scandal "eroded confidence in the pension system," says Carl Emmerson, an expert with the London-based Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The British pension-reform movement was born in the mid-1980s, when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher promoted - and the public embraced - a credo of individualism, shareholder capitalism, and personal control over financial affairs.

Though the plan was voluntary, 6 million people, or eight times the government's estimate, took up the offer to switch out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and into private pensions. "But it was put in place without any controls over the insurance industries selling the policies," says Noel Whiteside, a pensions expert at Warwick University, in central England.

Under the new plan, workers were responsible for investing their own retirement money. Pension sellers, working on commission, frequently coaxed them into unsuitable products, often overstating the potential for returns. "A lot of people were persuaded to leave good occupational schemes and transfer assets to personal pension plans," Dr. Whiteside says.

Richard Idle, a security worker, says he was missold a pension in 1988 by a car-insurance salesman. Four years later, his benefits were paltry and he scrambled to rejoin a company scheme. He was awarded compensation from the government of almost £20,000 ($38,000).

"I thought [the sellers] were advising on what was best, but afterwards I realized they were advising me on what was best for them," he says. He says that the current system is overly complex. "There is no way any normal working man is going to have any concept of it all," he says.

Scores of retirees still rely on a basic state pension, which was left in place after the 1980s reforms, though on a more limited basis. At £80 ($150) a week, it is considered modest, and pension advocate groups say some 2.5 million elderly currently languish in poverty.

Professor John Hills at the London School of Economics says that Mr. Bush's proposals appear to involve collective funds, which would reduce costs. "If that's the case, a lot of the costs would be pooled across many people and so would not be as high as in the UK," he says.