In the years leading up to the financial crash in 2008, Wall Street was begging for huge infusions of cash to keep the bubble inflated; the GOP hoped that giving them the Social Security Trust Fund would keep it from bursting on their watch. Imagine if all of our Social Security money had been sucked into that vortex. Be wary…they are going to try to do it again and the GOP has the votes they need this time.
Social Security is fully funded…prepaid by you and me through deductions from our paychecks and matching contributions by employers. But Congress and the President sometimes steal it and spend it on wars, tax cuts for the rich, or other zero-return ventures. They get panicky when the Social Security pot gets noticeably smaller, and some Einstein always suggests they put it all into high risk investments on Wall Street…certain that they will make a fortune and put our money back in time. Sure…no one ever loses on Wall St.
Some of my favorite forgotten heroes are the legislators who voted NO on Bush Administration legislation to privatize Social Security. The Bush team called it “reform” and, equally paradoxically, proposed to make individual Social Security accounts personal…essentially removing the safety net of a program that was created AS a safety net. Being politicians, no one proposed renaming it Social InSecurity. The measure was voted down and our funds remained secure.
Privatization efforts often tout the benefits of good business thinking that could be applied to government services. Ironically, privatization movements generally happen when there is not enough good business to go around in the private sector. The economy is slowing down, and business people are looking for growth in the wrong places.
Essentially, with privatization, government workers lose their jobs to people employed in the private sector. The impact on US employment is zero, yet these “new” jobs in the private sector are made to look like growth. And if those good business managers actually achieve any productivity improvements, the benefits are not used to reduce taxes; rather, they are paid to shareholders. In the more likely event that there are no profits from these privatized ventures, services to us taxpayers are cut so that the shareholders still get their money.
Been there…done that…don’t.
PS, it’s the same with privatized airports…only worse. Remember, Trump has signed a contract for Russia to provide security to US embassies in Russia. Can’t wait to see who will take over TSA’s job :-}