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March 01, 2005

The Bull Moose Misses the Point

The Bull Moose Misses the Point

He writes:

Bull Moose: The admirable passion of activists should certainly be channeled to oppose the dastardly policies of the Bush Administration. But thought should also be given to innovative alternative proposals to the Bushies. Yes, we oppose privatization - but how will we promote retirement prosperity for older Americans? Social security, alone, is an insufficient solution. 'No!' is not an alternative program.

But there is an alternative plan on Social Security that is a near-consensus position for Democrats. It has three parts:

  1. Social Security should be preserved--not phased out, as the Bush plan's "price indexation" formula does.
  2. Social Security's long-run funding hole should not be closed by benefit cuts alone, but by a mixture of steps that reduce costs and increase revenues.
  3. Private accounts to make it easier for America's non-rich to build their retirement savings are a wonderful idea if properly implemented and if proposed as an add on to rather than a carve out from Social Security.

And there are also two observations on the Bush administration:

  1. You can't negotiate with the Bush administration: its word is not good.
  2. You can't rely on the Bush administration: its track record tells us that even good ideas will be implemented very badly if they are left in its hands.

I'm tired of tendentious claims that Democrats have no alternative proposals on Social Security. They are simply not true.

Posted by DeLong at March 1, 2005 08:24 AM