Saturday, July 12, 2008

Now THAT'S a Flip-Flop

It is most amusing reading the outcry among Democrats over John McCain's statement that it is a "disgrace" that Social Security is directly transferring payments by today's workers to pay today's retirees. But that's how it has always worked, McCain's opponents exclaim.

That is certainly true, but it has not been Democratic orthodoxy until now. Up till now, Democratic orthodoxy has been that the government takes current workers' Social Security payments and pays them into a sacred Social Security Trust Fund, which invests them federal bonds. When a worker retires, the government then makes Social Security payments out of the investment in the Trust Fund. The Social Security Trust Fund has never been more than an accounting gimmick, but this has never prevented Democrats from taking it seriously and raising all sorts of hysterics about "raiding the Social Security Trust Fund," "protecting the Social Security Trust Fund," "using the Social Security Trust Fund to mask the true extent of the deficit," and assurances that the Social Security Trust Fund will not run out of money for another 50 years. Now McCain points out that there is no such animal, and Democrats say, "Whoever said there was?"

This is looking like a game of "The Emperor's New Spin" (can't find link). When it becomes impossible to deny that the Emperor has no clothes on, you say, "Of course we know he's buck naked. We think it enhances his sex appeal."

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