Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Kos has an article on an amendment proposed today that reads in its entirety:
It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt.
Kos thinks this means:
In other words, five Republicans are now on record as opposing any social security plan that would would [sic] either add to the deficit or would cut benefits.

Bush's plan is dead.

Kos is wrong on two levels. First, Bush's plan doesn't necessarily require either of those things. You could privitize social security without any benefit cuts and, if done properly, without massive increase in debt.

Second, and more importantly, to the extent this amendment would rule out Bush's plan it would also rule out essentially every plan to reform/save social security. Remember, if nothing is done benefits will drop 30% when the trust "fund" runs out around 2042. In real dollars it could be much more than that since the use of the trust fund for the 25 years or so before 2042 will likely slow our economy down considerably and/or cause fairly strong inflation.

So I don't know what this amendment means other than people who voted for it can say they did during the next election cycle....
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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!

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