Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foxx's Secret Plan to Privatize Social Security

Among the several small nuggets embedded in Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's performance yesterday at the Statesville town hall event was her sweeping endorsement of privatization: "I don't know anything the government can do better than the private sector."

"I don't know anything" covers a lot of real estate. Blackwater-style mercenaries are to be preferred to U.S. soldiers? Certainly, we now realize her preference that poor school children should eat chalk dust rather than government-sponsored free lunches. Poor sick people, heal yourselves! And then there's the biggest prize of all for Foxx and her fellow travelers ... Social Security.

Foxx's main squeeze, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, published his "Roadmap for America" recently, which called for the phasing out of Social Security and the further shift of wealth upward. We note that Ryan and the rest of the Republican Caucus have dropped the word "privatization" from their vocabulary, preferring now the word "choice" in its place, but Foxx yesterday in Statesville was pretty naked in her advocacy for throwing all Americans onto the tender mercies of the corporations.

Why would Foxx go through the motions of pretending to "listen" to her constituents when she's already signed on to the most radical of political philosophies? Oh, right. She's running for reelection against three different competitors and needs to pretend that she actually cares what voters think. And that she's not a radical extremist with political views that would seem perfectly at home in the court of King Louis XIV.

Paul Krugman's column today details the dishonest motives behind Ryan's attempt to hide "privatization" from public view. Yesterday in Statesville, Foxx let that door swing open a crack.


Wolf's head said...

Social Security is going under all on it's own. I'd rather Foxx not "privatize" it but let it die.

Which isn't going to take long.

J.T. said...

Actually, social security is not in bad shape. It's Medicare that's the problem (a problem that can be fixed if health care as a whole is reformed). The efforts to privatize social security are just one more blatant wrapped-in-the-flag attempt for Wall Street types to grab the little remaining money on the table. No one is talking about no longer taking social security from our paychecks.  They're just talking about handing it over to the kindly Wall Street types instead of the evil government.

Mike D. said...


I have heard something about Congress borrowing money from Social Security and leaving I.O.U.s in its place.  I admit to a lack of knowledge in this area, but you seem informed.  If you know what this is all about, could you please discuss it?


J.T. said...

Actually, Mike, I have also heard for years that social security trust funds were being borrowed but I have never read anything to prove that is actually true. It may be true, it may not.  I don't know. What has for sure happened, in part, is that the 2008 stock decline wiped the surplus out completely.

Mike D. said...

Thanks, J.T.,

I am afraid we may need to add 'Social Security' to 'military intelligence' and 'jumbo shrimp' on the list of oxymorons.

RV said...

My guess is that Virginia's plan to privatize Social Security would not apply to people in her age bracket.  She would be grandfathered in, so the younger people would not only be paying to keep her check coming, but they would not get one when their turn came.

J.T. said...

LOL, Mike.

RV, you can count on one thing for sure. She'll get hers.

Wolf's head said...

JT, you might want to read this article.


There are other articles, but the gist of the problem is 2 fold.

First, there is no money in the "account", so to pay the IOUs the gov't will have to either print it (inflationary) or borrow it (also inflationary). And the dems have already spent us into oblivion. I know posters here will say it's not so, but look at how much Bush spent and how they bitched about that, compared to what they are spending now.

Secondly, there will be increasing numbers of retirees going into the system from the "Baby Boomers" This will not be a linear increase, more of a geometrical progression for a couple of decades. So as of now we cannot meet the current obligations, which are going to drastically increase.

Medicare is a bigger problem, which will be worsened by health care reform added millions into the program, and as they simultaineously cut the Medicare budget by half a trillion dollars.

BikerBard said...

Hey! It's Ol' Wolf's Head Up His Ass!

Who kicked over a rock on this site so he could slither back out?  Didn't address the money being sent upwards? Yes, let's keep the wealthy old dame wealthy.

You can slither back, Wolfie.

bridle said...

The solution to social security is easy. All the people who are "illegal" workers should be welcomed and appreciated for the contributions they make to our economy. If they all pay into social security it will be solvent for the next generation.

bridle said...

Social security has been a fantastic program ever since it began. My father died when I was very young and my mother was disabled. Social security allowed us to survive as a family. Social security allows elders to live in their own homes with dignity. The Republican plan to do away with social security is just plain evil.

Guest said...

Hey BikeRetard! Sorry to hear about your test results.

Have you told your boyfriend yet? There are support groups you know, and as they are full of lefties! You two will feel right at home!

Wolf's live in caves, not under rocks where the worms are, just look around and see!

And try to post on the Conservative sometime, it's getting boring ripping your buddie LPOV.

BikerBard said...

Another nutcase homophobe posting here as "Guest." Coward.

J.T. said...

From the Social Security web site:

Why do some people describe the "special issue" securities held by the trust funds as worthless IOUs?   What is SSA's reaction to this criticism?

...money flowing into the trust funds is invested in U. S. Government securities. Because the government spends this borrowed cash, some people see the current increase in the trust fund assets as an accumulation of securities that the government will be unable to make good on in the future. Without legislation to restore long-range solvency of the trust funds, redemption of long-term securities prior to maturity would be necessary.

Far from being "worthless IOUs," the investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government. The government has always repaid Social Security, with interest. The special-issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the Federal government.

Many options are being considered to restore long-range trust fund solvency. These options are being considered now, over 25 years in advance of the year the funds are likely to be exhausted. It is thus likely that legislation will be enacted to restore long-term solvency, making it unlikely that the trust funds' securities will need to be redeemed on a large scale prior to maturity.

Mike D. said...


"<span>backed by </span><span>the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government"</span>

Now you've really got me worried. ;)

RV said...

Good point, Bridle.  Twenty million more hardworking people paying in would make a big difference. 

RV said...

I hate to give Virginia advice, but I'm afraid even her diehard supporters will not go along with her plan to turn their retirement over to Wall Street.   We have all seen where that will lead.

bridle said...

The US currency has been trustworthy for the past 75 years at least. Despite the best efforts of the previous administration we still have the most trusted currency on the planet. The solution is to do what is necessary to restore regulations, oversight, and fiscal responsibility to financial institutions, not to throw up our hands and let some magic " market" take care of itself.
The evidence clearly indicates that Democratic fiscal policies produce a healthier economy. I note two things; the largest increases in GDP to date have occurred during Reagan, Bush I, and BushII.
And the projected deficit is really really scary. The only way to get our economy back on track is to go back to Eisenhower era of progressive taxation.

BikerBard said...

No, no no. I WANT Virginia's supporters to turn all retirement investments over to Wall St.!