Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Politics Of Money: I do not understand the current climate against Bush's social security plan.

I mean I understand it, from his political opponents. Naturally, they don't want him to be remembered as having "fixed" anything. Establishing social security has long been the biggest feather in the hat of the Democrats, even though more and more evidence and arguments are pushing the idea that the New Deal may have prolonged the Great Depression rather than preventing it.

So naturally those guys have to oppose the plan and pretend it's the worst thing ever, even though Democrats all over Washington have proposed just about the same thing for years, up to and including Al Gore himself.

Financial institutions--I can also see why they wouldn't dig this. A bank's idea of helping you provide money your retirement is to get you to re-mortgage the home you've already paid off so you can continue to make monthly payments to them until the day you die and they get your house.

And the press? Well, now that there's the internet, the only people who read newspapers or watch TV news any more are all old people, and there's no better way to bring in that demographic than to say scary things about Social Security and Medicare.

But why the general opposition to this? Why does Joe Six-pack in suburbia think this is a bad plan? What nefarious thing do they think the President has in mind when he agrees to actually give some of your money to you?

Imagine this scenario: A Father and Mother watch their only get on the bus to go to college. She just turned 18, and now she's off to school to make something for herself. Her Mom, who has never worked since her little girl was born, is now starting to work a part-time job to raise money to pay her daughter's way through school. They wave good-bye to their girl, get in their car and start for home, when they're hit by a drunk driver and both die.

Under the current system, there'd be nothing for that daughter. Even though Dad had been paying into Social Security all his life, now that he's gone, the government gets to keep all of that money. The daughter now has to fend for herself.

Under Bush's proposed plan, part of the money her father contributed would have been set aside for him. Upon his death, that money would stay in his family. His daughter would have something to continue her education with.

How much? Go check out this online calculator, courtesy of Dave Ramsey. Punch the numbers, and see who you think wants to rip you off.

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