The front page story in today's New York Times has the headline: Social Security Agency Is Enlisted to Push Its Own Revision.
Over the objections of many of its own employees, the Social Security Administration is gearing up for a major effort to publicize the financial problems of Social Security and to convince the public that private accounts are needed as part of any solution.
If true, that Bush is going to have the SSA spend taxpayer money to lobby for private accounts, which is Bush's political agenda, then we have yet another outrageously wrong use of public funds.
But after reading the entire article, I am just left confused with respect to what exactly the SSA is supposed to promote.
The agency's strategic communications plan says the following message is to be disseminated to "all audiences" through speeches, seminars, public events, radio, television and newspapers: "Social Security's long-term financing problems are serious and need to be addressed soon," or else the program may not "be there for future generations."
The plan says that Social Security managers should "discuss solvency issues at staff meetings," "insert solvency messages in all Social Security publications" and spread the word at nontraditional sites like farmers' markets and "big box retail stores."
If the plan only calls for the SSA publicizing the fact that benefits promised exceed the amount we can afford to pay, then I think that's completely appropriate. But if the SSA is also pushing for a particular political agenda, the creation of "private accounts," then that's clearly wrong. But the NY Times article just isn't clear.
I am opposed to private accounts. I've thought about the issue since my last Social Security post.
The correct way to "privatize" Social Security is to simply lower taxes and benefits and let people do whatever they want with their money!
I don't see how a complicated new government program has anything to do with privatization. Just the opposite, these "private accounts" seem like yet another new federal intervention into the private sector. The new plan will surely have strict guidelines with respect to the types of investments which may be made, meaning that government bureaucrats will be directing the investment of hundreds of billions of dollars. Giving government control over such a huge amount of "private" funds sounds like socialism to me