Sunday, December 19, 2004

Jonah Goldberg on Social Security

Reiterates previous points about conservatives being the unconservative group of experimentation.

Anybody who is arguing that we should keep the current system because it is "FDR's legacy" is a dope.

But, that said, there is a lot to be said for the current system. And I believe that with some minor tweaks, the life of the system can be prolonged for a good 40-50 more years. (Hey, it's my job to think about these issues.)

I can tell you one thing for sure: Bush's proposal is not designed to protect low- and middle-income families. It's designed to create an even playing field. Which is in line with Bush/Republican philosophies, but is NOT the point of Social Security. Social Security is supposed to be a safety net. It's a SOCIAList program.

Personally, I think Social Security serves a very valuable function as such. And I am extremely wary of gutting it.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on what we should do with it, Geoff.

I think the system is horrible for African-Americans. I think it should be just thrown out completely. And we should give money to poor people who need it.

The reason FDR gave money to everyone was because, at the time, people had pride and they didn't want a handout. The question is. If you had to design a system today, would it look like the current system? No. Then trash it.

You can help poor seniors and children of dead parents without the current system. Now, trashing the system will never happen. And, yes, small tweaks could help. Like allowing seniors to keep working without being penalized.

The problem with FDR's success is that it has trained us to think, even the most conservative among us, government-first. We are completely wealthy enough to take care of our population without government, on the hole. We just lack the will and the generocity. I have a suspicion is that that government-first thinking is part of the reason.
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