Try rearranging Social Security Trust Fund assets

Published: Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 10:07 p.m.
Jeff Peterson (Voice, Jan. 24) unwittingly revealed the true political ideology underlying much of the rhetoric about reforming Social Security. His concluding sentence began, "I hope we all may agree that Social Security is a problem."
Note that we are not being asked to agree that the solvency of Social Security is a problem, but that the program itself is a problem.
This reflects the belief that establishing the Social Security system constituted gross overreaching by the sitting president (Roosevelt) and the U.S. Congress. Taking this view, the program is a socialist aberration and should be dismantled as quickly as possible.
Those wishing to substantially alter and/or abrogate a six-decades-old social contract cannot claim to be acting out of so-called conservative principles.
The driving force for change gets traction from the privatization aspect of the plans rather than from a desire to conserve anything.
Where is all the political pressure to reform Social Security coming from? I would propose looking at the usual suspects: Wall Street financial firms and banking interests.
They would have the most to gain from the massive influx of investment dollars certain to result from the adoption of any one of the three privatization plans. Even fractionally small start-up and management fees on trillions of dollars would buy oceans of Dom Perignon and a fleet of yachts to drink it on.
If the problem is one of improper asset allocation in the Social Security Trust Fund, why not simply rearrange some of the assets within the fund itself to higher yield instruments? If Trust Fund managers reallocate funds themselves rather than doing it indirectly through the private accounts of millions of individuals, there is no need for all the middlemen and their fees.
Chris Sistrom, Gainesville

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