Monthly Archives: April 2005

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The Doomsday Argument Against Private Accounts

A few thoughts to add to Kim’s excellent post below about opposition to private accounts for social security. This whole argument that the accounts won’t be protected if the markets collapse is like saying homeowner’s insurance is no good because it won’t protect you if a large asteroid collides with the earth. If the capital markets go down the drain the entire economy will have crumbled, and getting our social security check will be the least of our worries. In that scenario, private or no private accounts, we would all be economically doomed.

Given that there appear to be more experts that say a devastating asteriod is likely to hit earth than there are experts fortelling the demise of our country’s economic foundations, perhaps we can move on to an intelligent debate on the subject.

Social Security Reform

An outfit called ProtectYourCheck.org has bought airtime on Fox News recently. Their website says they are:

…a non-profit advocacy organization established to oppose the White House’s effort to dismantle Social Security, the most successful retirement and anti-poverty program in our nation’s history. ProtectYourCheck.org will educate Americans on the financial health of Social Security, promote policies to strengthen Social Security and encourage citizens to speak out about this issue to ensure that Congress doesn’t pass legislation that weakens the Social Security Trust Fund.

They state that if private accounts are allowed benefits will be slashed by 45% and if the stock market tanks, then “Whoah”. ProtectYourCheck.org wants you to contact your senators and representatives to vote against personal accounts because

Slot Machine
Social Security. It’s a guarantee you earned. Don’t let them make it a gamble.

I recently received my Social Security Statement in the mail (everyone should receive one a couple of months before their birthday).

ProtectYourCheck’s ad states Social Security is a guarantee that you’ve earned. My Statement has this part:

It says:

Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2042, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 73 percent of scheduled benefits.

My youngest child will be 18 years old in 2018. I will be 62 in 2024. Under the current structure, if I die anytime between 2018 and 2024 we lose everything that I have “contributed” to social security, except for the special one time death benefit of $255 that my spouse or child may be eligible for. If I die before 2018, my youngest is eligible for payments only until he’s 18. If I die after 2024, I get payments until I die then my spouse gets nothing from my contributions. He will continue to receive payments from his own account, but mine’s gone (his payment will be larger than mine will be).

Personally, I would far prefer to put some of my contributions into a personal account. ProtectYourCheck.org warns that if the stock market tanks, “Whoah”. Except that your voluntary contributions would be put into a mutual fund similar to the Thrift Savings Plan fund choices that are available to your elected representatives! You would think that if it’s good enough for them it would be good enough for their constituents.

I agree with President Bush’s suggestion that lower wage earners have a faster track to increases in payments (indexing on wages). The lower wage earners are either at jobs that don’t offer a 401(k) or equivalent, or if they do, the lower wage earner needs every cent to pay the bills and can’t afford to save for retirement. Personal accounts would allow the lower wage earner the opportunity to save on his/her own behalf for retirement. Higher wage earners benefits being indexed on inflation also makes sense. These workers have access to additional retirement savings plans. Where the cut-offs are, of course, subject to negotiation.

The MSM and the Dems are playing this as a reduction in benefits. It’s not a reduction in benefits, it’s a reduction in the pace of increasing benefits for those who can afford a smaller increase while benefitting those who need the higher level of increases. Benefits that can be left to your children. Benefits that can be left to your spouse, even while your spouse is receiving benefits of his/her own.

Michelle Malkin’s Look Who’s Defending the Rich Now has a round up of lefty blog spin and a round up of the MSM anti-Bush headline spin The Roar of MSM Demagogues

Yeah Judge Andrew!

A thirteen year old pregnant girl in DCF custody wants an abortion and Florida DCF won’t let her. From the Fox News DaySide website:

Tuesday morning she was scheduled to have the abortion when the state intervened, citing Florida law that says “in no case shall DCF consent to a sterilization, abortion or termination of life support” on behalf of someone who’s under DCF’s care. Sounds pretty clear. But the girl’s lawyers argue that, under the state’s privacy law, minors have a right to decide for themselves whether to continue or abort a pregnancy.

Judge Andrew Napolitano on DaySide with Linda Vester today, said the following:

It’s obvious that DCF can’t control the people that it’s charged with controlling, but it is following the statute which says that it can not consent to this procedure. That’s why we have judges to evaluate what the law is and to make a call on it. Look, this is an abortion, it’s not an appendectomy. This is a living being growing within her that has a right to live under Florida law and under normal principles of morality.(emphasis mine)

Good on you Judge Andrew! (btw – this statement drew a lot of applause from the audience).

The President and Polls

Last night, in President Bush’s press conference, he was asked:

Is the poll troubling?

My first thought was, “Yes, if the polls were honest, but since they don’t seem to be, no.”

President Bush’s answer was far better.

Polls? You know, if a President tries to govern based on upon polls, you’re kind of like a dog chasing your tail. I don’t think you can make good, sound decisions based on polls. And I don’t think the American people want a President who relies upon polls and focus groups to make decisions for the American people.

Bush Signs Filtering Law

From the AP:

WASHINGTON – President Bush on Wednesday signed legislation aimed at helping parents keep their children from seeing sex scenes, violence and foul language in movie DVDs. The bill gives legal protections to the fledgling filtering technology that helps parents automatically skip or mute sections of commercial movie DVDs.

As a parent this is great news. Ankle Biting Pundits notes that studios aren’t too happy with the notion as they are concerned with protection of copyrights. I can’t see this as a problem long as it’s for personal use and not for redistribution. Think of it this way: if I buy a book and want to black out sections or tear out pages, that’s my right. It’s my book. The same should apply to DVD’s. What is particularily nice about this technology is that it puts the decision making process in the hands of the parents, where it belongs.

Stop our Democratically Elected Institutions!

There’s a new attack ad running on CNN by a group called Move on Pac regarding the ending of the filibuster. It shows a bunch of elephants storming around Washington destroying various landmarks around the capital while the commentator says “the Republicans control the White House….the Senate….the Republicans control congress” going on to say that Republicans want to control the entire government!

Uhmm….last I checked, the reason that the Republicans are in control of those various bodies is because the public put them there. Talk about slash and burn politics: the public is increasingly rejecting Dems at the polls causing them to lose power and what do the Dems do? Last election they tried to delegitimize the elections. Now their attempting to deligitimize the institutions that Republicans occupy, portraying the excercise of democratically derived power as something wildly destructive.

Welcome Jawa Report readers. Please look around.

Musing's Blogroll

Kim and I have been a tad busy so posting is a little light. I encourage you to check out our blogroll, particularily the ones you may not have heard of before. We’ve recently added a few Canadian sites that I mentioned a few days ago. Things are pretty politically hot here in the Great White North.

On the Iraq front, I encourage you to check out our friends at OpiniPundit. I just had a gander and they’ve got lots of good stuff. Keep scrolling and you’ll get up to speed pretty quick.

I’ll be travelling for a few days and I may not have internet access (oh man, CNN as my only source of news??!!??) so you may not hear from me for a bit.

Cheers

Prenatal Testing

Jeanette at Oh How I Love Jesus in her post Aborting the Disabled points us to an article with the same name in Christianity Today.

Senators Sam Brownback and Ted Kennedy are sponsoring legislation to require doctors to provide current medical information, treatment options and information about support services to parents of children that have been diagnosed with a disability based on prenatal testing.

A study was done that showed that many parents felt “pressured” into aborting.

I have a disabled daughter. She has epilepsy, moderate hearing and vision impairments and a developmental delay. Genetic testing was done when she was about a year old. She was found to have two chromosomal abnormalities; there are extra genes on her tenth chromosome pair and her nineteenth chomosome pair has a ring in a mosaic pattern. Each chromosome pair usually looks like a number eleven 11, hers have one that’s in a ring, or circle configuration so they look like a 10 and the mosaic is every other pair. So her 19th chromosome looks like this: 11 10 11 10 11 10 11 10…

When I became pregnant again, we decided to have an amniocentisis test done. We didn’t know if our daughter’s disabilities were a “fluke” or if they were the result of mixing the genetic material of her father and I. We were told that the odds were one in two humdred that anything untoward would happen. The procedure seemed to go just fine. We were asked what we would do if the test results showed the same genetic abnormalities. They asked if we would abort. The answer was a very loud NO. We wanted the testing so as to be prepared to deal with a disability. We didn’t want to eliminate it.

Unfortunately, I “hit the lottery” on that one in two hundred chance… Two days after the procedure, I got very sick, high fever and vomiting. We went to the hospital and they couldn’t find a heart beat. The next evening, I went into labor and delivered a perfect tiny boy. From his butt to the top of his head, he fit on my hand from the heel to the fingertips.

The hospital performed an autopsy. He died of a strep infection. Otherwise, he was perfect.

I guess this goes with the parents feeling pressured into aborting. I didn’t quite feel that, but the fact that I was even asked….

Welcome ByrdDroppings readers. Thank you Lorie.

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