16 January 2005

honestly, i am so filled with worry and disgust and vitriol about this that i don't have a truly coherent comment. suffice it to say that enlisting the social security administration --

and note the word "administration" in the title of that agency. the ssa is supposed to be administering social security, not propagandizing or politicizing or dismantling

-- in its own eventual dissolution is about as underhanded a politically motivated trick as i've seen. do you know: the ssa has its own in-house statistical bureau, which has been fairly well-respected. at the time that i worked in a federal statistical bureau, it still seemed to be producing good and interesting and factual work. now i marvel in fear at the prospect of a politicized propaganda agency that happens to have a numbers-and-metrics arm. "how to lie with statistics," indeed.

but let me get to the main point: social security "reform" as envisioned by the bush administration is nothing more than yet another tactic to enrich the wealthy at the expense of the poor. nearly everything i've read tells us that there is no immediate crisis, and that the bush plan would in any case cost more and provide fewer benefits than the current system. where does all that extra money go? probably into the hands of those whose careers exist in managing retirement accounts. see this krugman column for a nice description of the results of thatcherism on pensions in the UK.