Financial Ignorance Exploited to Stop McCain?

Published September 25, 2008

Reporters Laura Meckler and Nick Timiraos documented recent attempts by partisans to lambast the economic viability of Social Security privatization, an idea supported by President Bush and Senator McCain as a strategy for saving America’s primary worker retirement program (“Crisis Draws Attention to McCain Social Security Plan, Support for Market Could Be Hurt by Financial Strife,” September 22). Political ads attacked McCain by alleging falsely that Florida seniors may have lost substantially if Republican efforts had been implemented.

McCain recognizes the need to guarantee future generations a sustainable program in the face of trillion-dollar unfunded Social Security liabilities piling up each year. During the Clinton Administration, a poll commissioned by the Cato Institute through Public Opinion Strategies showed 69 percent of Americans favored switching from the pay-as-you-go system to a fully funded, individually capitalized system. Another poll in 1997 by White House pollster Mark Penn for Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council found 73 percent of Democrats favored investment of some or all their payroll tax in private accounts.

McCain understands that personal retirement accounts would offer younger workers the opportunity to build a “nest egg” for retirement that could be passed on to children and grandchildren. Isn’t this a form of change the younger generation can believe in?

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager at The Heartland Institute.