Thursday, March 29, 2007

Everything Old is New Again…and Again

"President Bush did a nice job starting the discussion” says Kansas Senator and Presidential candidate Sam Brownback.

Believe it or not he’s talking about the President’s failed attempt two years ago to persuade the American public to send their Social Security benefits to Wall Street. The truth is, the more the President talked about private accounts the less Americans liked them. Even former Treasury Secretary John Snow acknowledged the folly of it all in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

“What wasn’t salable was the fundamental argument that we make Social Security stronger for our children and grand children by diverting money out of it: putting it into private accounts, running up trillions of dollars of debt in the interim and it will all be okay in 2094,” he said. “That was a losing argument.”

No kidding.

But Senator Brownback is now rolling full steam ahead with yet another Social Security private accounts bill. He told an Iowa campaign audience it will be ready this week. While this might surprise you (why continue to push the same failed approach, over and over again? you ask) it really shouldn’t. For privatizers, who don’t believe in the value of Social Security in the first place, private accounts are their number one priority.

That’s why we’re especially grateful to the 134,000 National Committee members and supporters who flooded Congress this week with letters reminding them that the privatization of Social Security and Medicare is still not an option. Private accounts may not be making headlines right now, but as we’ve seen with the President’s budget, last week’s Budget amendments (see 3/22 post) and legislation like Senator Brownback’s, efforts to privatize Social Security have not ended.

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