Stephen Moore: Trouble Trying to Decide on Whether to Take the Free Lunch

Via Max comes Stephen Moore’s attempt to lower the standards at the Weekly Standard with the only line of interest being:

Finally, to put the Democratic obstructionists in an especially uncomfortable position, it would make sense to start proposing fallback positions that at least get personal accounts started. One idea would be to defuse the fatuous “risky stock market” argument by simply offering a plan where workers can have a private account, but are permitted to purchase only Treasury bills. Take the stock market out of the equation and there is not even the odor of risk with personal accounts.

Max has some fun with this:

But … but … I thought Government bonds were “just IOUs”?!?

I guess it is no surprise that Stephen changed his tune when writing for the National Review:

All that said, such a reform plan is the only way to solve the financial crisis of Social Security. Workers would get much better returns and benefits through personal accounts. And the large accounts in Ryan-Sununu would shift so much of the future benefit obligations of Social Security to the accounts that the Social Security program would be left in permanent surplus.

If the plan is to have workers put their personal accounts into government bonds paying a real return of 2% rather than having the Trust Fund buy government bonds paying a real return of 2%, how is this a “better return”?