Focus Point - The Social Security CommissionCommentary by Pete du Pont
May 23, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I've been amused by the howls of outrage from democrats about president Bush's new bi-partisan commission for the reforming social security. They complain that Bush is stacking the deck in favor of his partial privatization position, which is true.
What Bush is doing is putting the policies he campaigned on into action. One of the reasons people elected him was that they agreed social security as currently funded is doomed. A new system based on ownership and wealth creation is the only way out.
The current pay-as-you-go system worked fine in the early days when there were 42 workers for each retiree. Now there are three. Soon there will be two. The social security so-called "fund" is just a collection of IOUs. Because for the treasury to write a check, it must first tax or borrow.
Without reform leading to some kind of privatization, payroll taxes will spiral upward or benefits will be seriously cut. That's why it's important Bush keeps his promise.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, stifling education reform.