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3/07/2005

Republican Plans

The Post wrote-up the competing Republican Senate plans for replacing Social Security. None of these are worth pursuing, compromising with, or even conceding as desirable in the abstract.

To date, the debate over social security has focused largely on the desirability of paying the costs of getting to a privatized retirement system. It can't be done without massive borrowing, massive benefit cuts, and generally trashing the guarantee at the heart of the current system. Whatever the benefits of privatization, they're not worth the costs.

The bigger picture question, though, has gone both unasked and unasnwered: if we could fiat a system of private accounts into existence, with no implementation costs involved, should we do so? I think not, but I haven't spent the mental energy necessary to come up with a set of coherent arguments one way or the other. I'll put some thought into it over the next couple of days.

 

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