Wednesday, February 08, 2006

King George slips plan to privatize Social Security into his budget

Allan Sloan at Newsweek and the Washington Post noticed something rather important. Not only is Bush talking about ending the Social Security survivor benefit (all whopping $255 of it), but he’s also proposing to privatize Social Security. And here I thought we’d finished that debate last year.

Sloan writes:
Last year, even though Bush talked endlessly about the supposed joys of private accounts, he never proposed a specific plan to Congress and never put privatization costs in the budget. But this year, with no fanfare whatsoever, Bush stuck a big Social Security privatization plan in the federal budget proposal, which he sent to Congress on Monday.

His plan would let people set up private accounts starting in 2010 and would divert more than $700 billion of Social Security tax revenues to pay for them over the first seven years.
What got the play in Bush’s State of the Union address was his call for a commission to study Social Security.

Something does have to be done to deal with Social Security, and there are many fine progressive plans to do so. However, ignoring public sentiment and sucking money out of the system isn’t the way to do it.

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