Friday, February 18, 2005

Alan Greenspan Supports Private Social Security Accounts

In his semi-annual testimony to Congress, Alan Greenspan stated that he supported the idea of private accounts, but warned against the borrowing that might be necessary for the transition:

"I think the existing structure is not working," Mr. Greenspan told members of the committee, declaring that private accounts would be "a good thing to do" but urging lawmakers to "start out slowly" and be wary about the trillions of dollars in additional federal borrowing that might be necessary.

"If you're going to move to private accounts, which I approve of, I think you have to do it in a cautious, gradual way," he said.


Very well then, cautious and gradual is better than never at all. If it is necessary to raise the cap for long term solvency, an idea I am not sure is true, then do so while establishing private accounts.

More than an argument about Social Security, this is a debate over political philosophy. George Bush wants to give the people of this country more ownership of their life and reduce the power and the influence of the government. Democrats actuallt derive their power by keeping the government central to the lives of as many people as possible. Many of the "I am a more pure conservative than you" crowd (look to the NRO for many, many examples) have whined and cried that George Bush is a big government conservative. He is now attempting to reduce the governments role in the country's biggest give away program, enabling people to have control over their own future.

I read an article several months ago ( I will post it later) about the President's plan to end liberalism as we know it. Essentially it argued that his plans for an "ownership society" would change the rules of the political game we are all used to. The article was written long before the idea of private accounts came to the forefront. As he continues through his second term we will likely see this administration reducing the power of the government more than the size of the government. Yes there will still be a Social Security Administration, but it will controll less and less of a persons retirement account, therefore people will be less dependant on the government, opening the door for further changes (elimination?) to the system long term.

A note about the role of bloggers in this debate. Sadly the "big" blogs have been almost silent on this issue, choosing to spend most of their time playing full-time media watch-dogs and promoting their various tv appearances. Hugh Hewitt, Instapundit (yes I know Glenn Reynolds had one column the other day), Powerline, etc... have devoted almost no time to the Social Security debate. they have hundreds of thousands of readers per day and could help to influence those readers, yet they choose to concentrate their efforts on helping take down an unknown (except to those hard core news junkies) CNN executive (I agree that he should have been fired for his comments). I believe we are at a cross roads for the blogosphere. So far the blogs have become known for taking down people in the media, and yes Trent Lott for a rather inocuous comment. So the blogosphere as a whole is known as a sort of attack mechanism. I believe there is a role for that, but is there not a role for the blogs in helping educate the public on very important issues of the day?

No one can deny the power the blogoshpere had with pushing the Swift Vet story during the campaign, why could it not have the same effect on the Social Security debate? Is the answer that that sort of debate nets a blogger less tv and radio time?

I had a blog before there were blogs. There were only a few readers and communication was really limited to email, although posting was available later on. With those limitations there was still good debate on important issues, something we seem to be getting further and further away from.


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