Thursday, May 19, 2005

Alpo Accounts: Quack, quack 

Gee, Inerrant Boy's 60-days, 60-cities tour sure did frame the debate, didn't it? Even that Dem, Rozen, who was just trying to help out because he thought—silly boy—that the whole debate was [cough] about policy is jumping ship:

Robert C. Pozen, the business executive who developed the theory behind Mr. Bush's plan to trim Social Security benefits in the future, urged the president today to drop his insistence on using a portion of workers' taxes to pay for individual investment accounts.

This was one of two blows during the day to Mr. Bush's policies on Social Security and retirement saving. In the House, Representative Bill Thomas, the Republican chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, disregarded the methods favored by the president to encourage workers to save for retirement - mostly tax incentives for the affluent - and offered completely different proposals of his own.

Mr. Pozen, a member of Mr. Bush's advisory commission on Social Security in 2001, said at a forum at the Treasury Department that the president's approach to investment accounts would destroy the chances for a Social Security bill in Congress and would make it more difficult to resolve the long-term financial problems facing the system.

He developed the technique known as progressive indexing that Mr. Bush embraced last month as the way to reduce the long-term cost of Social Security and get closer to the goal of permanent solvency for the system.

Under the technique, the promised retirement benefits of workers earning less than about $20,000 would be fully protected, but other workers' promised benefits would be reduced on a sliding scale as their income increased. In all cases, benefits would at least keep pace with inflation.

But explaining his position in an interview after the forum at the Treasury, he said the president's plan to let workers divert up to 4 percent of their payroll taxes to private accounts would reduce tax revenues and lower guaranteed retirement benefits too much.

"The accounts are just too large," Mr. Pozen said.

Rozen suggested Mr. Bush consider a surcharge on payroll taxes for people who earn more than $90,000 a year, currently the ceiling on which Social Security taxes are paid, and the possibility of using some of that added revenue for private investment accounts.
(via Times)

So much for progressive indexing... Yeah, let the Republican rich fund it, and tax 'em to do so... It's their baby.

Of course, if the Theocrats win the filibuster debate, all normal—though, God help us, what's normal these days—politics goes out the window, since the Republicans will just ram through whatever they want.

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