The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Can McCotter Survive Where Bush Found Himself Whacked?

Posted on | September 14, 2011 | 3 Comments

by Smitty

Via McCotter on Twitter, my other favorite blue state Republican, after the recently beclowned Pawlenty, is introducing legislation to stabilize Social Security:

The McCotter plan salvages both the Old Age and the Disability trust funds from that projected insolvency without reducing benefits, raising taxes, or increasing the age of retirement eligibility.

Rep. McCotter’s legislation achieves this through the creation of personal savings accounts eligible for reasonably flexible investment in the free market, offered to all workers aged 50 and younger. Participation is voluntary, and a minimum return on investment is guaranteed.

Because the personal investment accounts replace as much as 50% of each participating worker’s retirement benefit, the trust funds experience significant relief as soon as the first participants commence retirement. Benefits for current retirees will be unaffected, as will future benefits for workers above the age of 50, and those who choose not to participate.

For all the common-sense blowback directed at DC due to Social Security

  • not being a federal task,
  • being a Ponzi scheme,
  • wrecking the budget, &c

you cannot disappear 70 years of history. Some kind of transition plan will be required. Such a plan will have to protect those in need of protection, and distribute the haircut amongst those who can bear it (my generation) and also protect those for whom Social Security is tantamount to taxation without representation:I admire and respect McCotter, but view this as more a step in a useful direction than a destination. Lipstick on the Ponzi don’t make it a Fonzi.

It is High Flipping Time the federal government got itself out of the retirement business, followed the 10th Amendment, and let this tasking return to the states. I could foresee a federal law stating minimum requirements for social programs that the states should implement, maybe, but that is as far down the road to hellProgressivism as I’m willing to go.

And the reason is this: the federal government could do something useful as an overseer of the states. Trying to fund and implement social programs, as I read American History since FDR, has been a study in conflict of interest.

Finally, it occurrs to me that the big loser in the Social Security debate is President Barack Obama. His “don’t worry, be happy” policy on Social Security could not be less in touch with the pulse of the public debate. He cannot un-squeeze the horse from the tube of toothpaste that left the barn on this one. He is not even capable of beginning to lead here, much less admit there was ever a problem. Even trying to say “Bush did it” fails the memory test for anyone who recalls the second Bush term. One is nearly tempted to feel sorry for the bloke, for pure schadenfreude values of ‘nearly’.


3 Responses to “Can McCotter Survive Where Bush Found Himself Whacked?”

  1. steveegg
    September 14th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    A-Flipping-Men, Smitty. An orderly winddown of SocSecurity is what is prescribed here.

    As for the operational part of this, at first blush, it appears to be the Ryan Plan with additional no-strings-attached funds available to the rest of the politicans in the out years.

  2. Joe
    September 14th, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    Social Security (regardless of being a ponzi scheme) can be made to pencil, but it is not magic.  It requires cutting benefits, cutting automatic increases, and raising entitlement age.  In short, some tough decisions. 

    Medicare, however, is completely screwed. 

  3. DaveO
    September 14th, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    The main points of the exercise are to prove Republicans do develop viable plans; and Democrats will not.

    With Obamacare become daily more entrenched, and with fewer and fewer medical doctors graduating each year – why bother having Medicare and Medicaid? The Republicans should force this argument to its logical conclusion: Obamacare eliminates Medicare and Medicaid; and we are paying for five redundant medical systems (none of which is performing to standard): military healthcare, the VA, IHS, Medicare and Medicaid.