Sunday, September 9, 2012

Social Security Privatization? ... President Obama Says NO

The word of the day is PRIVATIZATION. I always thought that was a good word that signified We the People were in charge of our personal affairs and life decisions, but it's come to mean something else, at least according to President Obama and the progressives. Now PRIVATIZATION is viewed by them as a bad thing.

By standing squarely against free choice and self reliance, our government knows best "providers" are pledging to save us from ourselves and our inability to make sound decisions about MOM and the best interests of our families.


I choose self reliance and free choice and stand in total favor of privatization. That said, I'm all for helping those who need help, too. Through private initiatives where possible and only through government where absolutely necessary.

President Obama and his gang of government knows best paternalists are vowing to take care of citizen dependents. To save us from ourselves by choosing for us when it comes to  caring for ourselves and our families. They believe in OPM. I'm all for the MOM approach.

Well, if We the People believe what the government is "selling" as security is even possible, we haven't been paying much attention these past several years. And if we keep falling for that stale line of crap, we'll continue to get the government we deserve and all the government knows best programs as well.

President Obama is campaigning against Mitt Romney and therefore against privatization. My only problem with that is that Mitt Romney isn't saying that he'll allow privatization. They're both wrong about not facing the issue squarely in this election campaign. And that's another example of why politics sucks.

If we're not going to allow some people to fend for themselves, even if that's their choice, what does that say about this great country and its values? What about personal freedoms and personal responsibilities? If government is going to pay for the schools, the medical care, the retirement years, including nursing home care, and decide where and how our money will be invested, what's left for We the People to do, other than do the work of the government?

And if our paternalistic government officials are going to save or otherwise protect us from the evils of privatization, just how are they going to do that? Where will they get the money? From the fat cats? From the greedy corporations? And how much money will they have to get?

My guesstimate is the fat cats and greedy corporations don't have enough money to help the government save all the seniors, the middle class, the students, and all the other deserving government knows best dependents. Not even close.

But that won't stop President Obama from making his pledge and it won't cause Mitt Romney to state the plain and simple truth about these unaffordable entitlements. What a crock!

 Obama Vows to Fight 'Privatizations' has this to say:

"SEMINOLE, Fla.—Campaigning in a state that has long drawn retirees, President Barack Obama on Saturday promised to fight the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, the popular health and retirement programs for seniors.

In making the vow, Mr. Obama appeared to be implying that his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, supports Social Security privatization, which he doesn't. Mr. Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, has been a leading proponent of privatization—that is, of allowing workers divert some Social Security tax payments into privately owned accounts.

Medicare has long been a major issue in the campaign, particularly since Mr. Romney picked Mr. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, to be his running mate. The two Republicans have proposed trying to slow the growth of Medicare spending by giving seniors a set amount of money, which Democrats call a voucher, to shop for insurance. Mr. Obama and other Democrats vow to fight that plan.

In his Democratic National Convention speech on Thursday, Mr. Obama also promised to protect Social Security, a vow he repeated on the campaign trail on Friday and again Saturday in Florida.

"We're going to keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it," the president told some 11,000 people at a rally here. "And that's not by turning it over to Wall Street."

Voters could have been left with the impression that Mr. Romney would create private Social Security accounts, even though Mr. Obama never said so. At one point, Mr. Romney did support a partial privatization plan, but he no longer does.

In his book "No Apology," Mr. Romney wrote that private accounts make sense but cautioned about the price swings of stocks. "Given the volatility of investment values that we have just experienced,'' he wrote, "I would prefer that individual accounts were added to Social Security, not diverted from it, and that they were voluntary."

The Romney campaign plan for Social Security doesn't mention private accounts. It proposes gradually increasing the retirement age and slowing the growth of benefits to higher income seniors. The changes would apply to future retirees.

Asked whether Mr. Obama meant to imply that Mr. Romney supports privatization, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "The most important decision Mitt Romney made during this campaign was to select Paul Ryan, one of several Republicans who have advocated for privatizing Social Security, as his running mate. The American people can trust that the president would oppose those efforts."

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams replied, "Social Security is another example of President Obama's failure to offer solutions to the problems facing this country." He added that " Mr. Romney has put forth a "commonsense plan to introduce gradual reforms so that the program is strengthened for tomorrow's seniors."

Proponents of private accounts say they offer workers a greater rate of return on their tax payments than Social Security does today, and that private accounts could be passed to heirs. Opponents say private accounts would make retirement benefits dependent on volatile stock and bond markets. They also say the move to private accounts would incur large transition costs, because tax payments diverted to the accounts are needed to pay benefits for current retirees.

Mr. Ryan has been a leader in the push for personal accounts, also called private accounts. His 2010 "Road Map for America's Future" included a plan to let younger workers divert more than a third of their Social Security taxes into personal accounts, where benefit levels would depend on the success of those investments, rather than having government set benefits at a certain guaranteed level.

President George W. Bush made a major push for a similar program in 2005, but Democrats were united against it, and many Republicans were wary. Mr. Bush's plan failed to advance in the GOP-controlled Congress. Democrats campaigned against Social Security privatization in 2006, when they regained control of the House and Senate.

Mr. Ryan didn't include a Social Security privatization proposal in his more recent budget plans.

The program's trustees say the Social Security Trust Fund will run out in 2033, at which point annual taxes will generate only enough revenue to pay about 75% of benefits. This year, Mr. Obama hasn't said what changes he would make to Social Security to put it on more solid financial footing.

In 2008, Mr. Obama said he would shore up Social Security's finances by increasing the portion of wages that are subject to the Social Security tax. He promised to oppose an increase in the retirement age and oppose a reduction in annual benefit increases that are intended to account for inflation. . . .

In his 2011 State of the Union speech, Mr. Obama promised to put Social Security "on solid ground…for future generations" without saying how he would do so. . . .

Democrats generally oppose benefit cuts, and Republicans generally oppose tax increases. Some Social Security experts in both parties believe any Social Security solvency plan will have to include a mix of both."

Summing Up

We have Social Security, Mediare, Medicaid, Public Schools, Government Student Loan Programs, Government Postal Operations, Government Motors, and countless other examples of government paternalism practices and laws.

Nobody is suggesting that these programs be eliminated overnight and perhaps not at all.

However, I am suggesting that they are very much unsustainable in their present form.

If We the People adopt a bias toward government solutions instead of seeking private solutions, we'll continue down the road we've been traveling for a long time now.

Times are tough, and it's tempting to believe in the false security of government paternalists. Except that's not the reality of the situation.

The reality is that government programs have robbed us of the self reliance and personal responsibilities that are so essential to individual freedoms in a self governing free market based economy.

And a prosperous one, too.

Thanks. Bob.

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