Sunday, May 08, 2005

Social Security

In his column Turning away from government, George F. Will uses the experiences of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan to explain Social Security and its future. Will quotes Moynihan with writing:

"Once the great majority of citizens found that they would do better in the private investment part of this new system, support for the redistributive aspects of Social Security would quickly erode. It would become a residual relief program for the poor elderly, possibly turned over to the states as is done with welfare."

Another point that the article makes is the Democratic Party's absolute refusal to consider progressive indexing. The explanation for this refusal is quite simple. One measure of the strength of a government program is the number of "clients" that the program serves; the Social Security Administration in particular has essentially everybody as a client! Progressive indexing might be good for the long term financial health of Social Security, and it should make sense to Democrats on redistributionist grounds as well, but if its bad for the Washington D.C. bureaucracy then its apparently bad for the Democratic Party as well.

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