Dr. Stat

Dr. Stat is a Statistics Professor. This blog is his opportunity to share ideas and opinions about education (especially math education), politics, and whatever else comes up.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

State of the Union

"Today, Social Security is strong, but by 2013, payroll taxes will no longer be sufficient to cover monthly payments. By 2032, the trust fund will be exhausted and Social Security will be unable to pay the full benefits older Americans have been promised."

George Bush is such a pessimist ....

Wait ....

That was Bill, in his 1999 State of the Union. No Democrats Booed.

But they booed when George said this last night:

"Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year afterward will bring a new shortfall, bigger than the year before. For example, in the year 2027, the government will somehow have to come up with an extra 200 billion dollars to keep the system afloat — and by 2033, the annual shortfall would be more than 300 billion dollars. By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt. If steps are not taken to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be drastically higher taxes, massive new borrowing, or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs."
(Quotes from Six Hertz House of Pain)

National Public Radio this morning, with Carl Castle, said that a major portion of the president's speach was dedicated to Social Security. Funny. I thought it was just a little piece. I heard much more about Iraq and freedom in the world.

I must admit I'm feeling a little funny about the privatization scheme. It seems to me like it really doesn't have any major impact. We already have private retirement funds that are partially funded by our tax dollars...they're called IRAs. Why do we need another new scheme? Why not do more to promote what we already have, and talk about phasing out payroll taxes? Oops, I forgot, that's not politically feasible...