Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Latest

I sincerely regret my derth of postings lately but my inner academic is finishing a paper, I stayed up late Sunday night to watch the Redskins (lose), and my cadre of fellow bloggers have been covering recent events nicely.

Speaking of which, here's a great takedown of the Bernie Kerik debacle. Hilarious. Wolcott doesn't post as regularly as I could use but when he does he hits it out of the park.

On a more cautionary note, I've been reluctant to invade the brewing debate on Social Security "reform" because of my association with friends who may or may not work for the agency, and on the basis that my inner government worker may be compromised.

However, two points on Social Security "reform" are worth highlighting: First, as Kevin Drum, MaxSpeak and others have patiently shown, there is no Social Security crisis. As long as the Social Security Trust Funds register a positive balance, which they are projected to do until 2042 at last count, Social Security checks will go out, regardless of however much of a deficit the government is generating or what war we're in. At the point at which the Trust Funds are no longer in surplus (i.e. 2042-ish), the system will still be generating enough in payroll tax income to fund upwards of 67-70% of expected benefits, which because of the rising growth of wages on which benefits are based, would still be MORE than what retirees are getting today, EVEN after inflation is taken into account.

The second point is a more delicate matter and pertains to any potential strategy used to oppose the move towards Social Security privatization. While this blog will not put forward such a strategy or pontificate on the relative wisdom of either adamantly opposing "reform", submitting an alternative plan, or negotiating with the administration and congressional Republicans on the matter, the consideration of a little history may be in order, and for that I turn you over to our friend Mr. Digby. (Warning: the post to which this link is made is of an especially graphic and disturbing nature, revealing in excruciating detail and depth the utter contempt and brutality of the then out, but now ruling party. Please read with caution).

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