Quick Fix–What George W. will not do
By Ed Henry
More than $15 billion a month could be invested in the private sector$180 billion per year. Do you think thats enough to stimulate the economy? Create jobs? Increase payrolls? Put us back on track?
Instead of, or along with, a reduction in income taxes that have been unfairly collected from American taxpayers but will take a year to be meaningful even if retroactive to the first of this year. An income tax cut that has yet to go through the wrangling of Congress. President Bush could do something immediately useful, even if he has to do it by executive order.
Instead of pretending that it isnt happening, our caretaker government could immediately stem the recession were already experiencing. What Alan Greenspan calls zero growth.
All anyone with the presidents power has to do is correct an injustice thats been around since at least the eighties. What is that injustice, you say?
Stop stealing our surplus entitlement money and put it to work for us, instead of against us. Stop stealing our Social Security, Medicare, and all other entitlement surpluses that presently put us more than 100 percent in the hole with nothing but debt to be paid off by the same people who contributed these funds in the first place, their children or grandchildren. The double taxation of the Pay-It-Again, Sam plan, with interest pushing it deeper than 100 percent in the hole.
Get rid of the phony trust funds and the bogus babble bonds the government uses to make us think theyve just borrowed this money temporarily. Its outright theft and it always has been. Congressmen even confess to it. Entitlement money isnt supposed to be used for anything except the purpose for which it was collected.
How long does it take to set up real trust funds? Fiduciary activities managed by people entrusted with the investment of property. Just like the federal governments own privatized Thrift Savings Plan that invests in the stock market, municipal securities and so forth. The only real trust fund the government has along with 163 debit black hole accounts.
Such trust funds could be set up for each and every entitlement now being exploited. Social Security alone could be made into the working partial reserve system it was supposed to be before Congress and the administration decided to rob it, to make it into another of their slush funds for extra off budget money. How much of a true pension plan would Social Security now be if the $1.016 trillion in its so-called trust fund at the close of fiscal 2000 were real cash?
There is nothing but greed and avarice using these funds against us. Producing things like a money-laundering operation that pays down only one side of the national debt and returns 6 cents for a dollar.
I know, youre going to tell me that there are too many things bad about government investment in the private sector. Well, youre wrong, on every count. Lets take them one at a time.
The stock market is too volatile, too many ups and downs, too risky. Even though at its worst, during the Great Depression of the thirties, the New York Stock Exchange still managed to return a minimum 3 percent on investment. There are even some nitwits out there who believe that its better to guarantee going more than 100 percent in the hole, than it would be to have something for your money. Better to throw your money in the ocean than at least break even.
If government participates in the private sector, it will be an unfair source of competition. This is probably the easiest to handle. Good lawyers can simply draw up an agreement that government will never vote its holdings. Never interfere with the management of any business it participates in. Think of the money invested as a dole or gift. Just send us the premiums.
Hardly worth including is the idea that Wall Street stock brokers will make millions in commissions off something like Social Security. Silly Goose, were talking about enough money that Social Security can buy its own seat on the exchanges and pay commission to no one. Then it could handle all the other entitlement trust fund investments as well. Besides, the stock market isnt the only place to invest.
There will be too many lobbyists and people trying to influence trustees on where to invest how much. This one, I admit, gets complex. But say were investing in the stock market. Indexes could be set up and managed without much judgment in operation. For instance, computers might handle the apportionment of investment based on the number of employees in companies on the New York Stock Exchange and/or the commodities market. (How many farmers are growing soy beans?) Done efficiently, there wouldnt be anything to corrupt but the computers themselves. For this, we set up immediate retaliation. Computer hacking is a two-way street. One instance of detecting a hacker and sending the swat team ought to set the example.
The most difficult decisions might be broad categories of where to invest. For instance, Social Security alone could probably handle every home mortgage in the country. And who is going to default on a loan granted by every working person in the country?
The only real restriction will be to prohibit investment in U.S. Treasury securities. Since these are already owned and backed by every taxpayer in the country, it just doesnt make any sense to loan ourselves our own money. Thats whats wrong with the present scam.
The CATO Institute favors privatizing the entire Social Security Administration. Not a bad idea, because you cant trust politicians around money. But, lets try the above first and before we go to the expense of displacing hundreds of people doing a good job and operating out of Baltimore, Maryland. The Social Security Administration delivers checks on time, maintains offices in every major city, and operates on less than one percent of its budget every year.
Right now, all we need is a privatized real trust fund for each of the dozens of entitlements.
Why W. will not do it
The current representative of the Bush dynasty will not want to go against policies of his father. Taking the action outlined above is liable to shine too much light on the activities of the Reagan Administration as well as his fathers own term in office. Unfortunately, this is one of the consequences of nepotism or an Aristocracy.