Social Security: Should We Applaud a Sneaky Proposal?

Kevin Drum writes:

Like the creature that won’t die no matter how many bullets you put through its heart, Social Security privatization is back for an encore in President Bush’s 2007 budget proposal … The full faith and credit of the United States government is just an “empty promise.” It’s sort of like listening to an angry five-year-old, isn’t it?

If you are wondering what Bush was referring to in regard “empty promise”, Kevin explains. Meanwhile Andrew Samwick is pleased that the White House snuck this one into the budget. Andrew provides a short excerpt from this document starting with this line:

The President has proposed reforms to address the system’s long-term financial shortfall while making Social Security a better deal for today’s young workers.

In a way, Andrew draws our attention to the great LIE from this White House. It’s a standard GOP canard – we can at the same time reduce entitlements AND make those receiving benefits from those entitlements better off. Yes, free lunches are everywhere! Is there some great inefficiency out there that the White House is eliminating? No.

So what IS the White House trying to pull here? While Dr. Samwick is proposing some very good ideas for real reform, this White House is neither listening to his proposals nor the proposals of other economists who care about fiscal responsibility and the long-term well being of young workers. If this President were to be trusted on fiscal matters – I could understand why sensible economists might be happy he is addressing the long-term issues the nation faces. But did we here a peep about real reform during the State of the Union address? Of course not – that would have required leadership. Being sneaky is not leadership but it is one of the devices Karl Rove abuses to steal elections.